Real Madrid are returning to their philosophy of the early-2000s, when club president Florentino Pérez was known to remark: "Making signings in the winter is a symptom of weakness." Indeed, Los Blancos haven't dipped into the market in January for three years now - not since they bought Brazilian midfielder Lucas Silva in the 2014/15 mid-season window.
Here's a look at the club's activity - and, with a total spend of just 72.2m euros, more often than not lack of it - in the winter window over the past decade.
2018: NO SIGNINGS
Athletic Club goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga came very close to joining the Bernabéu outfit. It appeared to be a done deal - so much so, that there was an acceptance in Bilbao that the 23-year-old would be pulling on the Real Madrid shirt from January. However, Zinedine Zidane's objections to Real's Kepa swoop put the brakes on the process, and the custodian grew tired of waiting. What seemed an imminent transfer became a lucrative contract extension at San Mamés...
2017: NO SIGNINGS
The club were unable to register any new players in January 2017 as a result of their Fifa transfer ban for irregularities in the signings of international minors. Initially handed a two-window suspension by world football's governing body, Real finally served their punishment in mid-2016/17 after it was reduced to one on appeal.
2016: NO SIGNINGS
A winter of transition, as Real opted to change the incumbent of their dugout by replacing Rafa Benítez with Zinedine Zidane. Rather than asking Pérez for signings, Zidane's focus after being appointed was on turning around the atmosphere in the dressing room following an unhappy seven months under Benítez.
2015: LUCAS SILVA, ASENSIO AND ODEGAARD
Lucas Silva was signed from Cruzeiro for 14m euros, and went on to make just nine appearances for Real before being shipped out that summer for a rocky season-long loan stint at Ligue 1 club Marseille. A heart problem then led to the collapse of a temporary switch to Sporting CP in 2016, before the midfielder was sent back to Cruzeiro on an 18-month loan deal in January 2017.
The 2015 winter window also saw Los Merengues invest in youth, paying 3.9m euros and 2.3m euros, respectively, for teenagers Marco Asensio and Martin Odegaard. Neither purchase was motivated by a need for an immediate impact; they were made with an eye firmly on the future. Asensio, for example, was loaned straight back to Real Mallorca, before gaining LaLiga experience at Espanyol.
2014: NO SIGNINGS
In the wake of a summer that had brought major investment in Gareth Bale (101m euros), Asier Illarramendi (32.9m), Isco (30m) and Dani Carvajal (6.5m), then-coach Carlo Ancelotti was not given any January additions to his first-team squad.
2013: DIEGO LÓPEZ AND CASEMIRO
An accidental kick to the hand by his own team-mate - Álvaro Arbeloa - left keeper Iker Casillas with a broken bone in his hand. That led the club to buy Diego López for 3.5m euros from Sevilla, at the express request of then-boss José Mourinho - who had already controversially relegated Casillas to the bench in favour of Antonio Adán. An unstable goalkeeping situation under Mou was not eased by Ancelotti, his successor (who opted to play López in LaLiga and Casillas in the Copa del Rey), and was only solved once both had left.
Casemiro. The Brazilian arrived at Castilla, Real Madrid's 'B' team, from Sao Paulo, on a loan deal with an option to buy. Via a spell at Porto in 2014/15, the anchorman has gone on to establish himself as a fixture in the first team.
2012: NO SIGNINGS
It was the season of Real Madrid's record-breaking LaLiga win under Mourinho. Real had invested 55m that summer in Fabio Coentrao (30m), Raphael Varane (10m), José Callejón (5m), Nuri Sahin (10m) and Hamit Altintop (free). With Sergio Ramos's move to central defence leaving Arbeloa as Real's only right-sided full-back, there was speculation of a potential foray into the market, only for Mourinho to say: "I'm not looking for a right-back and I don't want any further players in January."
"I don't like the January transfer window but, for many different reasons, there are times when you have to make the most of it," said Mourinho, whose insistence on Real Madrid signing a striker led to his famous dig at Karim Benzema: "With a dog, you can hunt - with a cat, not so much". In the end, Emmanuel Adebayor was signed on loan from Manchester City after Hamburg refused to let Ruud van Nistelrooy leave for a second stint at the Bernabéu. The club negotiated a 14m-euro purchase option on Adebayor, but decided against activating it.
2010: NO SIGNINGS
Not even the 'Alcorconazo', Real Madrid's embarrassing Copa exit to Segunda División B side Alcorcón, changed their transfer plans, following a summer that had seen 264m euros lavished on Arbeloa (4m), Estebán Granero (4m), Raúl Albiol (15m), Xabi Alonso (30m), Cristiano Ronaldo (96m), Kaká (65m), Benzema (35m), Álvaro Negredo (5m) and Ezequiel Garay (10m).
2009: DIARRA, HUNTELAAR AND FAUBERT
Lassana Diarra and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar were signed during the 2008/09 mid-season window, for 27m and 20m, respectively - but, unbeknownst to Real Madrid, Uefa regulations only allowed them to register one in their Champions League squad for the rest of the season. Much to Huntelaar's bemusement, Lass was chosen. Six months later, the Dutchman left for AC Milan for 15m, having scored eight in 20 games. Meanwhile, the Frenchman remained in Madrid until summer 2012.
Julien Faubert was also brought in on loan from West Ham United, in exchange for a 1.5m-euro fee. The midfielder is best remembered for falling asleep on the bench. As ex-Real boss Bernd Schuster would put it: No need to say any more.
Te recomendamos en English
- RUSSIA Russia banned from Olympics and World Cup 2022 over doping scandal
- El CLÁSICO | BARCELONA - REAL MADRID Real Madrid: Zidane's headache - how to stop Messi in El Clásico... 3 possible solutions
- BARCELONA Messi impossible to replace - Barcelona president
- REAL MADRID Real Madrid: Casemiro must avoid getting booked against Valencia
- CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Barcelona, Inter set to discuss Rakitic, Vidal and Lautaro Martínez in Milan
- Barcelona 'cannot afford' to lose Vidal in January, says Blaugrana president Bartomeu