Real Madrid may have just set a new Spanish record by winning their 19th match in succession in all competitions, but, never a club to rest on their laurels, they could be set to bolster their squad in the January transfer window.
The club has bounced back phenomenally from a poor start to the season that raised questions about their summer activity in the transfer market and whether manager Carlo Ancelotti had been left with an unbalanced squad. Top of La Liga and sauntering into the last 16 of the Champions League with a perfect record, those doubts have been largely quelled. Much of that run has been down to the admirable work rate of some of Madrid’s star names to compensated for an incredibly attacking lineup. Yet it appears Madrid will still look at add a holding midfielder to balance the forward intent of the likes of Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Isco, and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
That desire is likely to be strengthened by the fact that two of Madrid’s central midfielders -- Luka Modric and Sami Khedira -- are currently out injured. Indeed, doubts remain about how much longer Khedira will be at the Bernabeu, with the Germany international set to be out of contract next summer.
The man to effectively replace him in Madrid could well be his fellow World Cup winner, Christoph Kramer. The 23-year-old’s sole start in Brazil came in the World Cup final when he was forced off early on with a concussion. He was recovered from that disappointment to continue to impress for Borussa Monchengladbach, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. His current club and parent club have said they desire his services for next season, but Real Madrid could swoop in and blow both clubs out the water. Kramer has admitted to being flattered by the links to the Champions League holders, but recently stated he currently expects to return to Leverkusen next summer. However, Ancelotti has revealed that he is keen on the player.
“I can’t speak about players who aren’t at Madrid and all I will say is that he’s a player I like a lot,” he said following a 4-0 victory over Ludogorets on Tuesday, according to Spanish outlet AS. “I like a lot of midfielders.”
Another of the midfielders he likes is Cruzeiro’s Lucas Silva. The 21-year-old has just helped his side to retain the Brazilian title and his performances led him to being named the best defensive midfielder in the Brasileirão. Fast gaining a big reputation for his passing ability at the base of the midfield, Silva has been strongly linked to a move to the Bernabeu for several weeks. And Ancelotti has admitted that there is an interest, although cautioning that a decision over Real Madrid’s transfer needs will be made closer to January.
“It's true we're interested in Lucas Silva, but it's not just that player,” he said, reports Spanish sports daily Marca. “There are others we're interested in. If we need him after the Club World Cup, we'll make a decision based on what's happening with the midfielders who are injured at the time.”
Real Madrid have already opened their check book in recent days by snapping up Mallorca teenager Marco Asensio. Lauded as one of the best young talents in Spain, the 18-year-old attacking midfielder was signed for 3.7 million euros ($4.6 million), but will remain with the Segunda División outfit for the rest of the season.
Asensio is certainly one for the future, and there would appear little need for Real Madrid to attain an immediate boost to their attacking ranks. It is hard to give much credence then to stories that continue to link Madrid with a big-money transfer for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard. The Daily Express has emerged with the latest report, which suggests that both Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are weighing up £70 million ($110 million) bids for the Belgium international in January. Yet even Madrid, a club that relishes having a head-turning amount of attacking talent, would surely be unable to accommodate Hazard, in addition to Ronaldo, Bale and Rodriguez.