The ones that got away from Madrid: Pogba, Kanté, Verratti...
It hasn't been the usual transfer market soiree for Real Madrid this summer. Several high-profile names have refused a move to the Bernabéu.
The France international was the name at the top of Zinedine Zidane’s list but it seems the Real coach will have to kiss goodbye to his dream of teaming up with his compatriot, possibly this week: Manchester United are reportedly on the verge of breaking the world transfer record to buy Pogba back from Juventus, four years after he moved to Turin from Old Trafford.
Madrid were in negotiations with Valencia for the Portugal international to reinforce the midfield. However, James Rodríguez expressed his intention to remain at the Bernabéu and Barcelona nipped in front of Real with an offer of 35 million euros up front, with add-ons taking the fee to a potential 70 million.
Zidane viewed the France international as the perfect player to compete with Casemiro for the defensive midfield role but Chelsea stole a march on Real and paid Leicester 35 million euros for the all-action midfielder. Missing out on Kanté proved to be Madrid’s first major setback of the summer.
It seemed that the duel to land the freshest pearl from the Brazilian top flight would be a straight one between Barcelona and Real Madrid, but Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City continued their bid to sign every young attacking talent on the market and snapped up the 19-year-old from Palmeiras, then loaned him back until January.
Verratti has been on Madrid’s agenda for some time but for a third consecutive summer the Bernabéu was snubbed by the PSG midfielder, who expressed his preference to remain in Paris and win the Champions League with the club he described as “like a family.”
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