The Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced Real Madrid’s Fifa-imposed transfer ban to one window on Tuesday, leaving the club free to sign new players in the summer. AS takes a look at what that might portend.
A Galáctico signing: Aubameyang or Dybala
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a target for Real Madrid last summer and has made little secret of his desire to join the Bernabéu club one day, although if Dortmund were to sell there would plenty of competition for the Gabon striker.
However, the Bundesliga giants are unlikely to part with their star striker meekly and if that bid fails, Madrid could turn to Juventus forward Paulo Dybala.
Sell James, and possibly Isco
The Colombian and Spanish midfielders are probably Madrid’s most coveted players by other clubs, and two that the Bernabéu would not be too disappointed to lose. James’ situation is rapidly becoming untenable and he has hinted that he would be open to a move after finding his playing time extremely restricted under Zinedine Zidane. However, a January exit is off the cards due to the CAS ruling but unless James sees an upturn in fortunes a summer transfer seems inevitable, especially given the number of suitors he has in Europe.
Isco’s case is not as clear cut. The Spain international was close to a move to either Málaga or Tottenham last summer but he has been a more active component of Zidane’s squad this season. However, he is also a player who would like more time on the pitch and will be subject to a number of offers in June.
Bring back Vallejo if Pepe doesn’t renew
Pepe’s contract runs out in June 2017 and he has yet to sign an extension, leaving him free to negotiate with other clubs in January.
Jesús Vallejo has been in excellent form on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt and bringing him back as a replacement for Pepe is an option, although the ability to sign players may lead to a bid for Dortmund defender Sokratis.
Send Mariano out on loan
Zidane has been an eager adherent of rotation and has handed almost the entire first team squad some playing time, which the Dominican forward has taken full advantage of, scoring five goals in six appearances. There were plenty of offers for the 23-year-old in the summer but Zidane decided to keep him to offer support for Karim Benzema and Álvaro Morata. However, with the likelihood of a big-money acquisition in the striking department, Mariano will probably be loaned out to gain more experience.
The loan players: Marcos Llorente, Diego Llorente, Borja Mayoral...
Real’s loan policy is bound to change dramatically after the partial lifting of the sanction. Marcos Llorente is at the head of the queue for a return to the Bernabéu from his loan at Alavés after the club briefly explored the possibility of bringing him back early when Casemiro was ruled out for two months.
Mateo Kovacic has since played his way into the manager’s thinking though and the need for a Llorente recall has dimmed somewhat.
In the case of Diego Llorente, he may be loaned out for a third consecutive season after his successful spells at Rayo and Málaga, while Mayoral has not been seeing much playing time at Wolfsburg and will be sent out again to continue his development.
Bring in competition in the full back positions
Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are undisputed starters at fall back but there is little competition behind them. Danilo has flattered to deceive and Fabio Coentrao has been injured for most of the season so far. Nacho’s versatility provides some cover for both and he has performed well when called upon but if Real make a splash in the transfer market, someone who can play at full back will be high on the list.
Another option is Achraf Hakimi. The Castilla right back has been in excellent form for the reserves and was named Most Promising Moroccan Player of 2016, and made his full international debut in October against Canada.
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