Real Madrid’s present campaign has reached a critical mass, with Champions League and La Liga trophies close, if not fingertips away. The quarterfinal UCL matchup against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday and the three points needed to reclaim the Primera Division lead are palpable examples of Carlo Ancelotti’s success thus far.
However, Los Blancos are continuing their forward-thinking dynasty hopes and are currently testing the transfer waters for several improvements along the backline. Options at winger and midfield could also be a top priority.
Madrid received excellent news from the recent scan on the injured knee of Alvaro Arbeloa, according to Marca, but still need to address the advancing years of Arbeloa and Pepe, both 31. There’s also Xabi Alonso, 32, to consider.
The chase for more youth on defense evidently stars with Southampton left back Luke Shaw, an 18-year-old who also has Chelsea and Manchester United interested, according to Daily Mirror. The report from earlier this week indicates top clubs are impressed with Shaw’s stellar resume at such a young age, citing his 60 starts for the Saints and his anticipated assignment to England’s World Cup squad this summer.
Both Arbeloa and Pepe are under contract until 2016, meaning Shaw would likely have little say as to how much he plays at the Bernabeu unless a major injury strikes. He could be far more amenable to first-team play in England, not to mention his £11.5 million valuation being a bit on the expensive side.
Madrid has also taken notice of developing Real Mallorca winger Marco Asensio, according to Talk Sport. He was originally scouted by Los Blancos and Barcelona, but wound up in the Segunda Division and this season the 18-year-old has quickly advanced from the B-team to the first team. Also in the sights of Fiorentina, Manchester City and the Catalans, Madrid are reportedly willing to pay Asensio’s full release clause of £3.3 million. They hope to act quickly since that fee will jump to £7.4 million at the end of next season.
Though Madrid aren’t discriminating against veteran players, and have reportedly offered a two-year, £8 million contract to Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, as reported by The Sun. Playing with the Blues for nearly eight years and making 225 appearances, the 32-year-old Cole’s contract will expire at the end of the current campaign. One of the most decorated and respected left-backs in the world Cole certainly has two more years left in his legs and may be ready for a change if Chelsea lets the Premier League title slip away.