With Real Madrid’s summer spend having already exceeded the € 200 million mark, FOX Sports Asia lists 5 players the Spanish giants must offload immediately to recoup their money as well as to steer clear of any potential FFP sanctions by the UEFA.
#1 Gareth Bale
Number one on the list of want-away players in Madrid’s roster is Gareth Bale. The star winger’s agent Jonathan Barnett has confirmed Zidane wants to do away with his client but has also indicated that Bale’s preference would be to stay put in the Spanish capital.
Bale’s enormous wages and the transfer fee – the club want to recoup as much of the £ 85 million fee they paid for him as possible, are the biggest stumbling blocks in any deal.
A loan deal seems to be the ideal solution at the moment, which would allow Real to at least wipe off some portion of his huge wages off their books for the foreseeable future. Whether indeed any club would want party to such a deal remains to be seen.
#2 James Rodriguez
Returning to Madrid after two years away on loan to Bayern is James Rodriguez. The Colombian failed to convince Bayern to take up the option to buy him at the end of his deal and is now stuck in the same situation he found himself in a couple of years ago.
However, even though he does not feature in Zidane’s plans for the upcoming season, the midfielder is one of Madrid’s most valuable assets as his age and relatively good performances mean his stock hasn’t plummeted as much.
Napoli, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with the player who represents Madrid’s best opportunity to reduce their net spending this summer.
#3 Keylor Navas
Despite being first-choice during an eventful 5-year association with the club, Navas has never been amongst the best goalkeepers in the world, emphasized by the fact that his club have tried signing a new goalkeeper almost every single summer since he has been at the club.
Madrid moved for Courtois last summer despite a third consecutive Champions League title with Navas between the sticks and Zidane finally seems to have made up his mind to back the Belgian as his number one.
Son Luca Zidane is set to be the preferred deputy and Navas’s departure was all but confirmed by the ovation he received from the fans in Real’s final game of the season. PSG have been linked with him and he is another player the club must offload at the earliest.
#4 Mateo Kovacic
Like James, Kovacic returns to Madrid after a loan spell in the Premier League with his future warped in uncertainty. Chelsea were thought to be keen on permanently signing the player but with the future of manager Maurizio Sarri up in the air, the club are reportedly having second thoughts.
Reintegrating him into the fold depends entirely upon Zidane, who might still fancy him, especially considering the fact that he had left the club by the time Kovacic was allowed to leave on loan last season.
If not, however, Madrid must act quickly to find a suitable buyer and offload the Croatian before an impasse between club and player erupts.
Ferland Mendy is set to become Real Madrid’s fourth official summer signing and the one player most affected will be Marcelo. Once seen as an untouchable, Marcelo’s form has nosedived spectacularly in the past year.
Even though the club are reluctant to publicly push him out, the signing of Mendy is seen as a clear indication of their intent to look towards the future. While Madrid aren’t bent on forcing the player out, there are a host of clubs all over Europe who would be interested should the Brazilian become available.