The transfer market has been pretty quiet for Real Madrid so far this summer. Los Blancos have only bought Brazilian right-back Danilo and have exercised their buy-back contract rights over midfielders Casemiro and Alvaro Vazquez, who spent one year gaining experience at Porto and Espanyol respectively.
There have not been any major signings. In fact, there is more talk on the possible exits, with Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas being the main source of news these days.
Once these two delicate situations are solved, or even before, Real Madrid will surely make at least a couple of signings to reinforce the squad. Which should be Los Merengues priorities?
- Goalkeeper. Keylor Navas is a superb keeper, although he has lacked the necessary confidence to become the undisputed number 1. Given the little trust Navas has been given, it will be crucial to sign a world-class goalkeeper. David de Gea is Florentino Perez’s favourite and it seems like there is no other option but to bring the Manchester United man. Should negotiations fail, Real would need to wait one more year to bring De Gea, so they would have to bring a low-profile temporary keeper. Petr Cech would have been a perfect fit, but he has signed for Arsenal. Bernd Leno is another option.
- Holding midfielder. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are the guaranteed starters as the midfield couple. However, in many occasions last season it was clear that Madrid needed a player with better defensive skills to replace or accompany Modric and Kroos in certain games. A player with better physical condition, like Marco Verratti or Arturo Vidal, would surely help Los Blancos gain balance. The Chilean seems like the worst option, given his discipline problems. So Verratti could be the best fit. Paul Pogba is another candidate, but his price seems just too high at the moment.
- Back-up striker. With Chicharito Hernandez gone, it seems clear that Real will have to sign another striker. However, if Rafa Benitez finally decides to display his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, there might not be such a need, as Cristiano Ronaldo could move from the wing to the number 9 position and Karim Benzema would become the substitute. Still, Benitez will surely want to have at least one more striker to foresee any injury problems. It will have to be a lower-profile forward that can guarantee a good goal-per-minute-played ratio. Any chance Benitez could bring Gonzalo Higuain back?
Those three signings are the most necessary for Rafa Benitez to build a stronger team. But of course, should any other players leave, it could be necessary to replace them.
Sergio Ramos’ exit would force Florentino to bring a center-back. And not just any center-back. Ramos is arguably the world’s best in his position and his departure would leave Los Blancos in need of a world-class defender. Yet, that is very unlikely to happen, as Perez is not willing to let the Andalusian go anywhere, at least this summer.
A back-up left-back would also be needed if Fabio Coentrao leaves. Marcelo will play almost all minutes, but he needs someone who can give him some rest and perform at a decent level. Mattia de Sciglio, Baba Rahman and Ricardo Rodríguez are some of the players who could fit in that role.