Real Madrid: 5 players who should leave this summer
Gareth Bale’s days in the Spanish capital appear to be numbered. Here are four other players who should leave the Bernabeu this summer.
For the biggest and showiest football club in the world, Real Madrid have been remarkably quiet in recent years.
They still boast a galactico squad – Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were world record signings, and Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were high-profile and costly acquisitions.
But their midfield three of Luka Modric, Casemiro, and Toni Kroos, the backbone of their recent Champions League success, cost less than a combined €70 million.
They have also been canny operators in acquiring younger players such as Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos and Mateo Kovacic for good prices.
Winning the league and European Cup double last season, their most successful campaign in over 50 years was built on the opposite of their Galactico identity. They made no high-profile signings at the start of that campaign, only activating a buy-back on their own youth product, Alvaro Morata.
But Florentino Perez is still in charge – the mastermind of the original Galactico project. This is a World Cup year and, for the last three tournaments, Madrid have invested in the most eye-catching player (Fabio Cannavaro, Mesut Ozil, James Rodríguez).
They have already banked an incredible amount selling players in the last few seasons (Morata, Ozil, James, Jese, Danilo, Di Maria) without investing in any major signings since 2014.
Whilst riding high in Europe, should they fail to retain the trophy this campaign will be an unmitigated disaster – following their best season of the modern era by being trophyless and potentially finishing fourth.
There’s every chance the club responds by abandoning the quiet continuity that’s been a cornerstone of their recent success and return to the excesses of the Galactico approach. If so, there are plenty who will be worried about being replaced.
Here are five players who could leave: