Real Madrid could not make a single signing during the January transfer window because of the transfer ban imposed on them by FIFA. Whether this has an effect on their chances of winning La Liga or the Champions League this season remains to be seen, but Madrid should be aiming to add to the squad in the summer in order to maintain their competitive edge.
All the odds on Oddschecker have Madrid as favourites to win the Spanish league and Zinedine Zidane’s side could well lift the title for the first time since 2012, but that should not stop them from looking ahead to the 2017-18 campaign. True, the likes of Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are going strong and are among the best players in the world, but it is imperative that Los Blancos refresh their squad.
Madrid are the world’s third most valuable club, and money is not an issue. What is important for the Spanish giants is that they sign the right players in the right positions and not just recruit a big-name footballer as a publicity stunt. Below we look at four players the 11-time European champions should aim to sign in the summer.
Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
Marco Reus is one of the best and most creative footballers in the world, and it is hard to believe that he is still at Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund are a massive club in their own right, but a footballer of Reus’s talent and quality should be playing for a bigger team… like Madrid. The 27-year-old can operate as an attacking midfielder or as a forward, and he would certainly enhance the quality of Zidane’s team. The Germany international is technically very gifted and he is going to hit his peak in the next couple of years. The former Borussia Monchengladbach star is going to cost a lot of money, but he would be worth it.
David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
David Alaba is one of the most versatile footballers in the world. The 24-year-old, who has made over 150 appearances in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich, can play as a central midfielder, central defender, right-winger, left-winger or left-back. Alaba, who is easily among the top three left-backs in the world, has even operated as a forward. True, Madrid have a world-class left-back in Marcelo, but signing Alaba would add extra quality to their defence and would also hand head coach Zidane a player who could play almost anywhere on the pitch. Alaba is settled at Bayern, who are one of the biggest clubs in the world and would not want to part company with him, but Madrid should still make a move and test the waters.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the best attacking players in the world and has been playing well for a while. The Gabon international is a versatile footballer who can operate as a forward or as a winger and is very prolific. During the 2015-16 season, the 27-year-old scored 25 goals in 31 appearances in the Bundesliga, while in 2014-15, he found the net 16 times in the league. Dortmund would drive a hard bargain, but Aubameyang has previously been quoted as saying that he wants to play for Madrid, and this could go in favour of Los Blancos.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Christian Eriksen has issues with consistency, as has been apparent this season, but there can be no denial that he is one of the best and most creative footballers in Europe. The Tottenham Hotspur attacking midfielder is only 24 years of age, and he could prove to be a good long-term investment for Madrid. Los Blancos have done business with Tottenham before (remember Gareth Bale and Luka Modric?) and perhaps the two clubs could thrash out a deal in the summer. Spurs will want top dollar for Eriksen, but money is not an issue for Madrid.
Signing Reus, Alaba, Aubameyang and Eriksen in the same window would probably not be feasible for Madrid, but if they could sign at least one of the aforementioned stars, then it would be business well done. They are all big-name players, but they also have genuine quality and would add to the strength and depth of the team.