REAL MADRID

Real Madrid's chosen loanee returners to add to Mbappé

Reguilón, Odegaard, Achraf, Kubo and Ceballos can return to the Bernabéu at no cost as the rebuild plan only caters for one galáctico signing: Mbappé.

Real Madrid's chosen loanee returners to add to Mbappé
Toyin Oshodi/Pro Sports Images/A Toyin Oshodi/Pro Sports Images/A

Real Madrid are keeping a close eye, both with hope and some delight, on the performances of the players they have out on loan at other clubs. Sergio Reguilón, Martin Odegaard, Achraf Hakimi, Takefusa Kubo and Dani Ceballos all appear to be doing what is necessary to ensure a return to the Santiago Bernabéu at the end of this season, and this allows a significant squad rebuild at zero cost. The plan to bring them back will allow one galáctico signing, with Kylian Mbappé in their sights.

Mbappé and the loanees

The five loanees are making their mark in the teams where they are currently playing, namely Sevilla, Sociedad, Dortmund, Mallorca and Arsenal, respectively. This is great news for their parent club for two reasons. Firstly, because there is no requirement to go in search of fresh faces in the upcoming January window and secondly, in June all their financial muscle can be focused on ensuring Mbappé makes what they perceive as the right move. Assuming the form of the youngsters continues, they, along with that one galáctico, are the key to the thinking of the leadership team in Chamartin.

Florentino Pérez, who is all in favour of the return of his on-loan stars has also aligned himself to the previous policy of spending big on star names, something that worked so well for him (on and off the pitch) previously. The idea is to make one huge signing each summer to grab the attention, and improve the first team, and next summer it is all about the young Frenchman. Nothing is expected to be wasted on winter purchases.

The contrasting fortunes of Reguilón, Odegaard, Achraf, Kubo and Ceballos when compared to Jovic, Mendy and Brahim, for example, has been a relatively clear messsage to those at Madrid. By allowing potential stars of the future to shine elsewhere, there are huge benefits for following seasons, with the investment already made and salaries covered. Those that stay around find it much harder to get the minutes under their belt at Los Blancos, with Federico Valverde being one recent exception to that rule.

Enjoy me while I last | Martin Odegaard at Real Sociedad.

Enjoy me while I last | Martin Odegaard at Real Sociedad.

Changing fortunes

Until a few years ago, Madrid, along with Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United, was the preferred destination for the best footballing talents. This changed with the fortunes pumped into Chelsea, Man City and PSG, and the additional revenues built across the Premier League. Italy too has seen a revival in transfer success at the highest level with taxation methods proving an attractive lure, as was seen with Juventus' signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Against these changes, Real Madrid have had to fight. The change to signing young promising stars for high, but reasonable values, was always going to take time to prove its worth. But with their five stars already pencilled in for a 2020 return, the longer-term strategy could be close to paying off. And with the plan to bring in the hottest attacking talent in world football to align with them, work is being done in the background to continually develop squad evolution. The romance of a galáctico signing remains real, and that is something that Madrid have close to their heart.