Real Madrid fans may still be celebrating their 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, but domestically Los Blancos are fourth in La Liga and a massive 19 points behind rivals and leaders Barcelona.
Could major changes be about to happen at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium? From a squad overhaul to a change in manager, the world’s football media is rife with speculation about the potential comings and goings at the defending Champions League holders.
We take a look at the managerial reports, potential transfers and the players who could leave Real Madrid at the end of the season. It could be a very busy summer in the Spanish capital.
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Will Zidane stay on as manager?
Even though he has led Real Madrid to successive Champions League titles and the Spanish championship last season, Zinedine Zidane’s future is very much up in the air. Last month Real were humiliated by Leganes after losing 2-1 on aggregate in the Copa del Rey - a result that Marca called “the most ridiculous night of Zidane’s reign”.
Since then Real have hit back with league wins against Valencia (4-1), Real Sociedad (5-2) and a 2-2 draw with Levante. After the Leganes defeat fans were using the #ZidaneOut hashtag on social media, but since the 3-1 win over PSG, Marca says that many were “praying for him to stay”. It’s a tough life being a football manager.
Zidane says he is not “at all worried about his future” while captain Sergio Ramos believes only the Frenchman knows what he’ll do next season. Ramos said: “He might even win something and still leave.”
Pochettino and Low are linked
The uncertainty of Zidane’s future has led to many reports about his potential successor in the Real Madrid hot-seat. Two names to be linked with the job are Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Germany manager Joachim Low.
Pochettino has impressed at Spurs and The Sun says that the London club look set to offer a big-money deal to keep him in the Premier League.
If Zidane does leave then Real could turn to Germany boss Low. The Daily Star says Low is “ready to take the reins” at Real and is plotting to bring “superstars” to the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid potential transfers in
Whether it’s Zidane, Pochettino or Low in charge, it’s looks very likely that Real Madrid will have a massive squad overhaul in the summer. Yesterday Sports Illustrated reported that a source had revealed that Real have a €600m (£534m) transfer war chest for the summer.
If the reports are true then the Real Madrid strikeforce could look very different next season. We look at the latest transfers news for players who could join Real Madrid. Are we about to see the next era of the Galacticos?
David De Gea, goalkeeper
The Manchester United and Spain stopper has been a long-term target for Real. He only has 18 months left on his contract at Manchester United and the Daily Express says that Real are “odds-on” favourites to sign him.
Thibaut Courtois, goalkeeper
The Daily Express also reports that Thibaut Courtois is an “alternative” goalkeeping option. The Chelsea and Belgium number one, who previously played for Atletico Madrid, admitted that his “heart is still in Madrid” as his two children still live in the Spanish capital with his ex-girlfriend.
Toby Alderweireld, defender
Toby Alderweireld’s contract talks with Tottenham are reportedly at a stalemate and this has put a number of clubs on alert. The Daily Mirror says that Real and Manchester United lead the chase for Belgian defender.
Paul Pogba, midfielder
He only rejoined Manchester United in 2016 but reports suggest that Paul Pogba has “some regrets” about moving back to Old Trafford. Real Madrid were also interested in signing Pogba from Juventus and today the Daily Star reports that the Spanish giants are ready to bid £120m for the French midfielder.
Eden Hazard, midfielder
Robert Lewandowski, striker
The Polish international has told Bayern Munich that he wants to join Real Madrid, The Sun reports. Lewandowski has a “long-time desire” to join Real and reports in Poland suggest his agent will hold departure talks with Bayern.
Harry Kane, striker
Sports Illustrated reported this week that Real Madrid are planning a swoop for Tottenham striker Harry Kane. The England star is one of their top transfer targets but would cost a world-record transfer fee of more than €300m (£267m). The Daily Express says that Cristiano Ronaldo would welcome Kane to the club - as long as the Englishman does not “usurp him as the club’s talisman”.
Marcus Rashford, striker
The Daily Express says that Real Madrid are rated as the “favourites” to sign the Manchester United striker in the summer. The Express claims the Spanish giants are eyeing up Rashford if they are unable to sign Harry Kane.
The Neymar factor
The one player consistently linked with a transfer to Real Madrid is PSG star Neymar. The Brazilian previously played for Real’s biggest rivals Barcelona, but that won’t matter to the Madrid faithful.
Despite signing for PSG for £200m last August, The Sun says that Neymar will join Real in 2019. But according to the Independent, Real Madrid want Neymar this summer and are confident he will move back to Spain.
The Daily Star says Real are preparing for one of their “biggest transfer windows ever” and a move for Neymar could involve selling four players to fund the deal. The “elite stars” who could be set to leave Madrid include Keylor Navas, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.
Which players could leave Real Madrid?
Cristiano Ronaldo: linked with Chelsea and Arsenal
After scoring 101 Champions League goals and 633 in total for the club, it seems unbelievable that Cristiano Ronaldo could ever leave Real Madrid. But the Metro reports that the 33-year-old has “grown frustrated with life in Spain recently” and his agent Jorge Mendes has reportedly approached Chelsea and Arsenal over a potential transfer. Chelsea would be more likely, especially if Eden Hazard makes the move the other way, says The Sun. There are also reports that Ronaldo could move to PSG in a swap deal for Neymar.
Isco: linked with Manchester City
According to Don Balon, and reported by Caught Offside, Manchester City lead the chase for Real midfielder Isco. City boss Pep Guardiola could also be after Isco’s team-mate Toni Kroos.
Gareth Bale: linked with Manchester United
The Welshman’s agent Jonathan Barnett says he is happy at Madrid, but according to the Daily Star he actually wants to join Manchester United. There is a slight problem for Bale though, Don Balon believe United have no interest in signing the former Tottenham star.
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