The summer transfer window may have closed just a few days ago, but speculation about the moves that might take place when the market reopens is already in full swing. And, despite spending over €120 million, Real Madrid are heavily involved. After signing three impressive World Cup performers, James Rodríguez, Toni Kroos and Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas, Madrid completed a loan deal for Manchester United striker Javier Hernández in the dying hours of the transfer window. Yet the decisions this summer, particularly the sales of Ángel di María and Xabi Alonso have also raised questions about the balance of the team, including from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both Di María and Alonso were key components in Carlo Ancelotti’s side that won the Champions League last season and it could well be that Real Madrid are already contemplating further additions. In that sense the link with Christoph Kramer makes sense. The Germany international, who started the World Cup final in place of current Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira before being forced off with a concussion in the first half, would bring some more defensive balance to Madrid’s midfield. And German publication Bild has reported on speculation linking the 23-year-old with Madrid as well as a host of other top clubs.
Kramer has just started the second season of a two-year loan spell at Borussia Monchengladbach from Bayer Leverkusen. Although he has a contract with Leverkusen until 2017, Bild believes that Monchengladbach are willing to pay €15 million to try and make the move permanent. Yet they face a battle not just to convince Leverkusen to sell but to fight off rumored competition from Madrid, as well as clubs including Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Napoli.
With Khedira again having fitness concerns and set to be out of contract at the end of the season anyway, a dynamic midfielder could certainly be on the agenda. Inter Milan’s Fredy Guarin has been suggested as another, somewhat surprising, target. The Colombia international was poised to move to Juventus last January in a swap deal with forward Mirko Vucinic before the transfer broke down at the last minute, and it was suggested that he pushed to leave the club again in the summer. However, in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Guarin has insisted that he is happy to remain at Inter.
Amazingly, an even more unlikely target has been put forward for Real Madrid this week. Citing unnamed reports, Metro has detailed the possibility that Madrid could move for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard should Cristiano Ronaldo leave the Bernabeu. Ronaldo again stated his love for Manchester United recently as well his desire to return to Old Trafford someday. Yet, given that he only signed a new five-year contract 12 months ago that made him the then highest-paid player in the world, it is difficult to imagine that day being any time soon. And with a wealth of attacking options at Madrid -- Rodríguez, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Jesé Rodríguez and Ronaldo -- it is unimaginable that Hazard will be targeted unless the Portuguese departs.