Madrid set up stall: Aubameyang, Isco, James, Morata...
Real Madrid are in for a busy summer. As well as bringing in big names, the club plans to offload underperformers such as James and Isco.
Aubameyang. Madrid want a top level striker for 2016-17 and have already secured an agreement with Borussia Dortmund's Gabonese centre-forward, as AS reported on 10 March. The 26-year-old is in the best moment of his career (35 goals in 40 games) and has been approved by Zidane. Dortmund are adamant they want 100 million euros for the player. Several clubs in the Premier League are also keeping tabs on him, including Manchester United who, according to the Daily Mirror, have him in mind as part of José Mourinho's rebuilding project.
Lewandowski. The Pole is another of the strikers on Madrid's radar, and was chosen as this summer's 'galáctico' signing. Florentino invited the player's agent, Cezary Kucharski to the Bernabéu VIP longue back in December. But the situation has coeled in recent months. Lewandowski is happy in Munich and, as AS reported recently, he is excited by the prospect or working under Ancelotti next season. The Italian coach insists that Lewandowski will be a key figure in his set-up and that diminishes Madrid's chances of bringing him to Spain.
Morata. His performance in Munich elavated his profile. Madrid included a 30 million euro-buy-back clause in the contract when they sold the player but if they do exercise that option, he will be sold to riase funds with England as his likely destination. Morata recently renewed terms with Juve and earns four million euros after tax. Arsenal, who are in need of a centre-forward with guarantees, and with the windfall of striking a new Premier League broadcasting right deal, will push hard for his signature.
Hazard. He wants to leave Stamford Bridge and Zidane is a big fan. "After Cristiano and Messi, Hazard is my favourite", the coach said not so long ago. Madrid could allude to the player's erratic season to negotiate a lower price. He is under contract until 2020 but Madrid are negotiating a pre-agreement, according to sources close to this newspaper.
Pogba. Another player on Zizou's wish list. He will be moving on from Juve, who miraculously managed to retain him last summer and value him at 90 million euros. PSG, who are looking for a national standard bearer and big name signing to make up for the loss of Ibrahimovic are prepared to dig deep to fend off Barça in the battle to sign the midfielder. Madrid will be watching closely and poised to make their move...
Wendell. Madrid are no longer prepared to cover Marcelo's absences with makeshift options at left-back (Danilo, Carvajal and Arbeloa have all been utilised) and the club is scouring the market for a natural, left-sided full-back. The Brazilian Wendell (22 years old, Bayer Leverkusen) is in the good position. The operation would cost around 35 million and the player is thrilled by the chance to join Los Blancos. "I'd walk all the way to Madrid", he told AS earlier tjhis month.
Ricardo Rodríguez. Another candidate for the role of Marcelo's understudy. He's a key figure at Wolfsburg, Madrid's Champions League quarter final rivals. With Galician and Chilean parents, he is a Switzerland international and would cost 25 million. At 23, he has already racked up 151 top level apperances in Germany, scoring 19 goals.
James. One of the trickier cases which Florentino must deal with; the president is not entirely overjoyed with the Colombian's performance levels. His sitaution is similar to Isco's, both os whom are pertitioning for a wage rise, but there is one important difference: James cost 80 million euros. Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have shown an interest because they know Madrid are open to offers, although the club will hope to recoup as much of those 80 million euros as possible.
Keylor-De Gea. Last summer's soap opera is set to return. While Keylor has been promised a salary increase, Madrid have been left with moral dilemma of De Gea's botched transfer from deadline day last year. Football Leaks published the contract that the keeper was about to sign: six seasons and a pre-tax salary of 12 million euros. Acording to the Daily Mail, Madrid are also working on a Plan B: Courtois.
Kroos. In England it is being reported that the German isn't entirely happy at Madrid and Manchester United have their ears perked. They will try to convince Florentino to let him go for a fee around the 50 million mark - double what Madrid paid for him in 2014.
Jesé. He's the third player with the least playing time (867 minutes) despite his attempts at making a claim for a place (he's hit five goals). If his situation continues, he will be looking for an outlet to gain more regular playing time far from the Bernabéu, just like Morata did.