5 changes Real Madrid need to make in January transfer window
Even the gargantuan establishment of world-famous Real Madrid has felt the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, fueling a hugely expensive stadium overhaul in the midst of the crisis isn’t helping.
Still, finances may be tight for the royal Spanish giants, but there are a number of steps that authorities can take to help Zinedine Zidane overhaul city rivals Atlético Madrid to La Liga top.
Zidane guided Real Madrid to three crucial wins in a defining week for the season in early December building on his trusted old guard and a largely unchanged squad.
It may have propelled Madrid into the title race, but it also highlighted the status of many players in the squad. Tellingly, none of Isco, Luka Jovic or Mariano Diaz pitched any of them.
While Isco would like to leave, Jovic and Diaz have had no shortage of suitors. Throwing in the trio’s payroll alone would be welcomed by those in Madrid’s accounting department – and hardly affect results on the pitch.
He might be 34, he can rub some people the wrong way, he can spend a little too much time on his beard, but Sergio Ramos continues to be the linchpin of Real Madrid’s defense.
Aside from the disturbing and repeated occurrence of Raphael Varane turning into a wayward wreck when the club captain is not around, Ramos remains world-class in isolation.
Now in the final year of his contract, Zidane has hinted that a deal is well within reach for Ramos and that an extension announcement would quickly end any distracting speculation – which is only going up as the Spanish international may soon negotiate a pre-contractual agreement with other clubs.
This unglamorous old school man has proven he deserves at least another year in the Spanish capital with a wealth of under the radar but impressive performances in several positions this season.
As Zidane’s constant favorite, a 12-month extension would surely be simple and reasonable crowd pleasers.
Luka Modric had a mini-renaissance in Madrid’s last unbeaten race but, unlike Ramos (one year his junior), showed signs of decline from his peak.
Even with the aging Croatian, Madrid only have four senior central midfielders (which is worrying for a side doing better in 4-3-3, i.e. with three of them on the pitch ). Fede Valverde is an exciting and ready-made replacement for Modric, but Casemiro is the only player on the squad who truly thrives on anchoring a midfielder.
Madrid may have to wait until summer, but would be a big help if they could sign a midfielder who can take the strain off Casemiro and is also equipped to play alongside him.
Manuel Locatelli, 22 years old from Sassuolo, is a player who ticks a lot of boxes, but if Madrid want someone a little more prominent…
After a relentless update of non-existent progress, Bayern Munich seem to have finally admitted that David Alaba’s future lies outside of Bavaria.
With six months remaining on a contract that wouldn’t risk being extended, Madrid could either ask Alaba for a reduced rate in January or sign a pre-contract deal to bring him to the Bernabeu for free in the summer. next.
Not only are Alaba presenting an alternative to the center-back and left-back, but the Austrian trophy-laden international – who is still only 28 – is also a fan of the midfielder.