Never before have fringe players proved so profitable for a football club. Real Madrid’s indomitable ‘Plan B’ were key for Zinedine Zidane as he rotated Los Blancos to a first domestic and European double for 59 years. Now, a selection of those second-string players are filling Madrid’s pockets. Four of them have been sold for a combined fee of €128m.
Morata to Chelsea
The sale of Álvaro Morata to Chelsea generated €80m. The Madrid academy product left the pre-season training camp in Los Angeles to cross the Atlantic and confirm his arrival at the West London outfit. Zinedine Zidane was eager to retain Morata, but the 24-year-old saw an opportunity for regular playing time at Stamford Bridge, something that he could not be guaranteed at Madrid. Morata spoke to AS before boarding a flight from California to London, and expressed his excitement at signing for the coach [Antonio Conte] who has ‘shown the most faith’ in him.
James to Bayern
James Rodríguez joined Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal. However, Bayern will have to pay Madrid €5m for each season the Colombian is at the club. The deal includes an option to buy James outright upon conclusion of the loan spell in June 2019; the Bavarian club would have to pay €35.2m to make the move permanent. If that happens, the deal would be worth a total of €45.2m to Real Madrid.
Mariano to Lyon
Mariano Díaz was the first player to leave Real Madrid this summer. The Spanish-Dominican forward signed for Lyon on June 30 for €8m. That fee represents good business for a player who only played 302 minutes for Real Madrid last season. What is more, a clause in the deal means that Madrid will take 40% of fee from Mariano’s next transfer.
Danilo to City
Danilo’s departure to Manchester City brought in €30m, with an additional €5m in add-ons. Chelsea appeared to be the front-runners for the Brazilian’s signature, but Pep Guardiola’s desire to sign Danilo swung the deal in favour of City. He will compete with Kyle Walker, who recently arrived from Tottenham for €57m, for the right-back position.
Mbappé spending money
The four departures have generated €128m of income for Real Madrid. If Bayern Munich exercise their option to buy James Rodríguez in 2019, that figure will rise to €163.2m. This is a significant amount of money for players who did not start regularly for Madrid.
This income would allow Real Madrid to pursue Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappé, who commands a fee of around €120m. Zidane stated on Saturday that he wants to sign another striker following Morata's departure, and he is a strong admirer of Mbappé.
At the moment, Madrid have spent €46.5m on incoming players: Dani Ceballos (16.5), and Theo Hernández (30). Marcos Llorente, Jesús Vallejo, and Borja Mayoral, will step up to the first team squad for the first time in 2017/18, but were already at the club before.