World Cup internationals return to training this week
Week two of preseason training has got underway, and Julen Lopetegui will no doubt be anxious to start working with the internationals that have yet to return to Valdebebas following World Cup duty. This week, Spain internationals Nacho, Ramos, Asensio, Isco, Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez will join up with the squad before flying out on Saturday for the tour of the United States.
Also returning this week is Keylor Navas and Toni Kroos, with World Cup semifinalists Marcelo and Casemiro set to reunite with their team mates in the U.S. towards the end of next week. World Cup finalists, Modric, Varane and Kovacic will miss out on the US tour, but should be back in time to prepare for the European Supercup final against Atlético in Estonia on 15 August.
Manchester United eye up Toni Kroos
With securing the signature of Gareth Bale looking increasingly unlikely for The Red Devils as the Welshman is set to be a focal point of Lopetegui’s side, AS has learned that Jose Mourinho's new 'Galactico' target is Toni Kroos. But Real Madrid will be unwilling to part with the German playmaker, whose release clause is in the region of 500 million euros.
Juventus want Kovacic
Could Mateo Kovacic follow Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin this summer? The Croatian international has publically left the door open to move away from the Bernabeu in search of more game time. And according to Italy's Tuttosport, Juventus want to bring him in should Miralem Pjanic leave Turin. The other Juve candidate is reportedly Thiago Alcantara.
Modric shirt sales
Following his outstanding performance at the World Cup, Luka Modric has taken over from Cristiano Ronaldo as the number one player in shirt sales at the moment, according to staff at the Bernabeu store. Judging from displays and advertising at the store, it seems that Benzema was the figure chosen by the club to fill the void left by Cristiano, but workers told AS that shirts bearing the Frenchman's name are one of the least in demand.
Real have spent 89.2 million on new signings
So far this summer, Real Madrid (89.2 million euros) have been the second biggest spenders on new players in LaLiga, behind Atlético Madrid (91 million euros) and ahead of Villarreal (75.9 million euros) and Barcelona (66.9 million euros). The total LaLiga spend so far is 527.7 million, which is well behind the Premier League (935.8 million) and Serie A (875.9). Juventus have unsurprisingly been the biggest spenders in European football this summer, after having spent 212.9 million euros to date, which, of course, includes the 117 million euros paid for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid’s three biggest singings so far have been Vinicius (45 million euros), Alvaro Odriozola (30 million) and Andriy Lunin (8.5 million). And with Mbappe and Neymar now off the table, AS journalist Marco Ruiz, writes that Florentino Pérez has been left cold by transfer market situation.