Real Madrid postpone "Operation Renewal"
Plans to sign transfer targets such as Camavinga, Fabiána and Aouar have been put on hold, while next summer will be a decisive one regarding Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland.
A few months ago, Real Madrid’s top brass made a decision that was maintained until the close of the transfer market on Monday: the club would not make any new signings.
In these difficult times amid the coronavirus pandemic, the club’s financial health has taken priority over sporting matters. Moreover, the general consensus is that Zinedine Zidane already has a high-quality squad in place that is capable of competing in all four competitions this season.
The current situation has prompted the postponement of plans to bring in fresh faces that had been targeted for this summer. Madrid currently has six members in its squad that are over 30 years old: Sergio Ramos (34), Nacho (30), Marcelo (32), Toni Kroos (30), Luka Modric (35) and Karim Benzema (32).
Most of these players remain indisputable starters for Zidane and they still have plenty of football in their legs. But it is obvious that the club must eventually move ahead with the renewal operation that was scheduled to begin this summer.
Madrid midfield targets: Camavinga, Ruiz, Aouar
The need for reinforcements is most evident in midfield. Modric and Kroos will remain permanent fixtures in Madrid’s engine room for at least one more season, but club wants and needs to start a rejuvenation in this area of the pitch.
That is why that Madrid this wanted to close the signings of Eduardo Camavinga of Rennes (17) and Napoli’s Fabián Ruiz (24) this summer. And in recent weeks, Zidane’s interest in Lyon’s Houssem Aouar (22) has also become widely known.
All attempts for these transfer targets have been put on hold. Although the good news for Madrid is that none of them have switched clubs during the transfer window and can be tried for again next summer. Another positive the club sees is the fact that they will have another season to monitor their development before making a final decision on whether or not to invest.
Defensive priority, Upamecano
Another sensitive area is the centre of defence, where Ramos and Nacho are already in their 30s. Here, one of Madrid’s main candidates is Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano (21).
Though, the club will also have one more season to analyse the progress of Jesús Vallejo (on loan at Granada), while there are also high hopes for Pablo Ramón, a youth academy player who will play for Real Madrid Castilla this year.
Mbappé remains the Holy Grail
Moving up front – this will be a key season for 22-year-old Jovic to prove his worth after a disappointing first season; while 20-year-old Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland is waiting in the wings.
And then, of course, there is the biggest priority of them all – Kylian Mbappé. With the French striker's current PSG contract set to expire in 2022, next summer will prove to be decisive in Madrid’s longstanding plan to land football’s hottest property.