Ivan Neychev
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The Next Galacticos?

The Future of the Transfer Market

After the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo it seems as if Real Madrid’s Galacticos have come to an end. The second generation of football players recruited under this name featured the likes of Kaka, James Rodriquez, Angel Di Maria, and Gareth Bale. The generation started in 2009 when Real Madrid bought Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo for a total of 161 million euro. But today, the Welsh winger, who joined in 2013 for a record-breaking 100 million euro, is the only one who still plays for the Los Blancos. What is the possible transfer policy in the club? And what are the options that new coach Julien Lopetegui would consider in the quest for new players?

Traditionally, the Galactico players are strikers or midfielders. Since the departure of Iker Casillas in 2015 after 16 years in the club, Real have been on the lookout for a star goalkeeper. One possible choice is Spaniard David De Gea. Rumours that have been around since 2016 say that De Gea would join, but until now no transfer has taken place. With Keylor Navas, who has proven himself as key to Real’s success aging, the thirteen-time Champions of Europe will be pressured to strike a deal. De Gea himself has shown interest to return in Madrid, but not in the squad of previous team Atletico. A transfer could break this summer’s world record for most expensive goalkeeper, now held by Alison of Liverpool (72 million euro).

The Kings, as they are called in Spain, would also want to strengthen their midfield. Although Modric and Casemiro are delivering in every game until now, the Croatian, who turns 33 on the ninth of September, would soon need a successor and the Brazilian powerhouse Casemiro would need a substitute. Youth talents Isco and Asensio will be required to perform better than expected as he would have to replace Ronaldo’s key role in the attacking aspect of the game. Despite all those excellent players Real still has, they would need a couple world-class stars to remain competitive in Europe and to try to win the La Liga or the King’s Cup in Spain.

A sure transfer is that of Eden Azar from Chelsea. Rumour has it that the Belgian has already decided on joining the club if he is permitted. A transfer of this calibre would cost a hefty 150 million euro, a lot of money for a 27 year old player, but Azar—quick, agile and able to play with both feet, will be a perfect to inherit the Number 7 style of play previously dominated by Ronaldo. Although he will probably not be able to score 40+ goals a season he will surely be vital in important games and will intimidate the opposition.

Another bomb at the transfer market would be Brazilian superstar Neymar joining the club. The winger who left Barcelona for PSG last summer is strongly rumoured to become part of Real’s starting XI. After he publicly expressed his dissatisfaction of Paris supporters, it seems that the only problem for his return in Spain will be financial fairplay. The French champions will not sell Ney Jr for less than 300 million euro which will violate UEFA rules if Real decides to buy any other superstars. But a transfer could happen the summer of 2019 or 2020 with the notion that Neymar will be pushing 28 years of age.

Finally, Real must solve the problem they had evaded for a few years—the need of a centre forward. With titular striker Benzema turning 31 this December and considering his poor form last season, coach Lopetegui must find an heir to the number 9 shirt. In 2017/2018 the Frenchman scored only 12 goals and provided nine assists in 47 games in all tournaments. Possible choices are Edinson Cavani of PSG, Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich or Harry Kane of Tottenham.

Both players, notorious for their goal scoring instinct, would be perfect for Real Madrid. The Polish national has been quoted many times that he wants to join Madrid. Despite his interest, club Bayern Munich have still not received an official bid. But with the departure of Ronaldo this may change. The price would be an estimated 70 million euro. Cavani on the other hand would be far cheaper than Lewa. The Uruguay, prolific in scoring goals in his first couple of seasons, will be of help to the Madrid attack, but his form will probably deteriorate in the near future as he is turning 32 next February.

Last week, Harry Kane was voted most probable centre forward of the Kings in MARCA survey. He won 26 percent of the 200,000 voters. The Premier League and World Cup top goalscorer would be the perfect match for Real. Last season he scored 41 goals in 48 games, more than Benzema and Bale added together. Still young and not having reached his prime, he has a bright future in European football. His transfer would probably cost at least 120 million euro, but this investment will be wise as Kane is only 24 and will be able to spend the next 6-7 years at Real.

Conclusion:

The next Galacticos will cost Real Madrid around 500 million euro. Despite this, Real would have the most talented squad in Europe and will probably become the most expensive team on the continent ahead of leaders Manchester United. Because of financial fairplay Los Blancos will probably have to assemble this star-studded squad in more than one transfer window. Still it would be a pleasure to watch all those great players in the same white colour cheered by thousands of supporters on the stadium and millions in front of the small screen.