Real Madrid's key objectives for 2021
Mbappé, Camavinga, Ramos, Modric, Lucas Vázquez, salary cut talks: Real Madrid is preparing to tackle a number of important objectives in 2021.
With the year 2021 underway, Real Madrid is preparing to tackle several important objectives over the coming weeks and months to ensure both the sporting and financial health of the club in the short-term future.
Kylian Mbappé, Eduardo Camavinga, contract extensions for Luka Modric, Lucas Vázquez and most importantly Sergio Ramos, negotiations on salary cuts, and the completion of the Bernabéu renovation works ahead of the return of fans to the stands, are among the top priorities for Madrid this year. Below, we take a look at some of these issues in more detail.
The PSG striker is the great strategic objective for Madrid, who want to form an attacking trident with the Frenchman, Eden Hazard and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, whose signing is scheduled for 2022 when Karim Benzema finishes his contract.
Madrid has already achieved its objective with Mbappé choosing not to renew his deal at PSG, meaning, come summer, he will only have one year left on his contract. It will be then when the formal negotiations with PSG will begin. But PSG’s price tag remains to be known and now new coach Mauricio Pochettino is pressing to keep him.
The young Rennes midfielder has a contract until 2022 and has already made the decision to leave France next summer, which is why he has changed his agent. Up until recently he was represented by Mousa Sissoko but has since put himself under the management of Jonathan Barnett, most famously known as representative to Gareth Bale.
As already reported by AS, Barnett’s intention is to bring Camavinga to Madrid, with the British agent claiming a few days ago that his “relationship with the club is excellent”, in a bid to put aside his differences with Madrid over the Bale affair. The important question is if there will there be any money left for Camavinga after the Mbappé operation. That could be the main stumbling block.
Salary cuts are a fundamental issue for Madrid amid the current financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The club expects to post losses of €90 million this financial year, and that’s not counting the €275 million set to be paid back this season on the €570 million loan for the Bernabéu revamp.
However, in a recent secret meeting, players collectively refused to accept a 10% salary reduction, on the grounds that if there is money for large signings and to pay their salaries, there should be money to pay their full salaries also.
Contract extensions for Ramos, Modric and Lucas Vázquez
Madrid has left it until the last minute to resolve these three important issues. The first two, Ramos and Modric, of course, are fundamental as they are the two players who have the most weight in the dressing room. But resolving Lucas Vázquez’s situation has also become vital as he has grown to become a key pillar in Zinedine Zidane's team (he has started the last 16 consecutive games).
Ramos’ contract talks are at a worrying impasse because of his relationship with Florentino Pérez, which has been turbulent in the past. But the pair will be expected to finally come to an agreement. Thankfully with Modric, there is already an agreement in principal which would see the 35-year-old renew for one year, although it remains to be seen if that agreement will become definitive when the figures are put on the table (he currently earns €9 million net per season). Lucas, meanwhile, rejected the club’s first proposal because he saw it as too low.
This is a matter that is directly related to that of Sergio Ramos, for whom the club has lined up the versatile Bayern Munich defender should the captain decide to leave. Alaba’s contract with Bayern expires in June and he is now free to speak to interested clubs. Following an initial approach by Madrid, the club learned that the player is seeking a salary of €12 million per year and transfer bonus of at least €20 million.
Everything is up in the air until the future of Ramos is resolved. But in the meantime, the other clubs looking to sign Alaba (PSG, Barça, City, Man United and Liverpool) are putting on the pressure, meaning time is of the essence for Madrid when it comes to finalizing the current captain’s situation.
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