Real Madrid preparing for major summer splurge on potential new Galacticos
Expect a few statement signings from the Spanish giants.
Real Madrid are preparing to make a significant splash in the summer transfer window, with the club reportedly identifying key three targets: Mauro Icardi, Eden Hazard and Neymar.
While it's obviously a rumour at this stage, it comes from José Luis Sanchez, one of the most reliable and well-connected Real Madrid journalists in the business. Recently, he was one of the first to report the sales of James Rodriguez, Pepe and Alvaro Morata last summer - his strike-rate is pretty impressive.
Sanchez reports the following:
"A meeting will take place at Real Madrid to discuss possible summer signings. Three names are on the table - Eden Hazard, Neymar & Mauro Icardi."
Reunión esta semana en el Real Madrid para perfilar el futuro. Tres nombres prioritarios, tres cracks:
🌟Mauro Icardi https://t.co/R8ShNmTTEQ
— José Luis Sánchez 🇪🇸 (@JLSanchez78) January 5, 2018
It's important to note that he is not necessarily saying that the club will make an attempt to sign all three of those players, rather that they are three main targets.
Madrid are 14 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga league table, having endured a mixed domestic campaign so far. With Cristiano Ronaldo turning 33 in February and Gareth Bale's persistent injury woes, the club are expected to invest significantly in the first-team squad. Karim Benzema is also linked with a possible departure from the Bernabeu this summer, meaning there may be holes to fill in the line-up.
Chelsea star Hazard has long been linked with a big-money move to Madrid. Speculation over the Belgian playmaker's future at Stamford Bridge has intensified following reports claiming that he has rejected two contract offers from the Premier League club. With uncertainty over his long-term commitment to Chelsea, it's very possible that Madrid will look to capitalise on the situation with a bid in the summer.
Eden Hazard on a new Chelsea contract: “(laughs) I’m going to say the same thing as Thibaut: first he has to sign, then I might follow. I don’t know who’ll be the first to sign a new deal. That’s a secret.” #cfc pic.twitter.com/QHM8Wds2wJ
— Kristof Terreur (@kristofterreur) January 4, 2018
Mauro Icardi to Real also makes sense. The Argentine striker has been in breathtaking form for the Nerazzurri this season, netting 18 times in Serie A already. He is one of the hottest attacking properties in European football, so it was inevitable that he would be linked with a club of Madrid's size. At 24, Icardi has his best years ahead of him and would be a tremendous addition to Zinedine Zidane's Champions League winners but prising him away from Inter may be extremely problematic, given that he is the club captain and is under contract at the San Siro until 2021.
As for Neymar, him joining Madrid seems the most unlikely of the three possible scenarios. Not only does he have an obvious connection to bitter rivals Barcelona, his move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer was one of the greatest transfer coups of the modern era. Unless Neymar explicitly tells PSG he wants to move to Madrid, it's very likely that he will stay in the French capital.
Whatever happens, it's interesting that these names are being mentioned by a reputable journalist with a strong track record of covering Madrid's transfer activity. It should be an interesting summer of comings and goings at the Bernabeu.