With their transfer ban temporarily suspended, Real Madrid could spend big this summer to land their latest superstar. The Spanish giants, along with neighbors Atlético Madrid, were banned by FIFA from registering players for the next two transfer windows last month for breaching rules on signing players under the age of 18. However, both subsequently had those bans suspended, pending appeal. If those appeals are not resolved by this summer, then the Madrid clubs, as happened with Barcelona’s ban in 2014, would be able to register new arrivals ahead of the start of next season.
If that were the case, it seems certain that Real Madrid will invest heavily. And, given the history of president Florentino Perez, it likely means, that there will be at least one new “Galáctico” flying in. The current favorite to fulfill that role would appear to be Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
Hazard was the key figure as Chelsea won the Premier League last season, landing the players’ and football writers’ player of the season award for his efforts. But this year his performances have dropped alarmingly, and he has yet to score a single Premier League goal. Meanwhile, there has been repeated speculation about his unhappiness at the club and particularly with now-departed manager Jose Mourinho. He did, however, state in an interview published on Saturday, that he had sent a text message to Mourinho upon his firing in December apologizing for his drop in form.
Still, there have been consistent rumors of a transfer to Real Madrid, with new manager Zinedine Zidane having made clear his admiration for the player. Speaking in another interview, Hazard admitted he enjoyed hearing such praise, although reiterated his commitment to Chelsea.
“Yes, of course [I would like to be managed by Zidane at some point in my career],” he told Belgium’s La Gazette. “It is always nice to hear that the player I admired during my childhood speaking about me.
“I have always appreciated Zidane. I know about him as a player but not so much as a coach, although he has been very successful debut at the Bernabeu. But I am still under contract at Chelsea and I feel fine.”
None the less, Spanish sports daily Marca has reported that Hazard is open to a move to Real Madrid and that his agent has already been in informal discussion. Should that transfer not come to fruition, the publication also listed two other possible “Galáctico” options, in Paul Pogba and Robert Lewandowski.
Pogba could well become the next man to break the transfer record having been linked with all of Europe’s top clubs on the back of his starring performances in for Juventus. He would be a welcome addition to a Real Madrid midfield that is often lacking the sort of physicality and dynamism that Pogba, along with plenty else besides, would bring. Yet, Real Madrid would likely face a tough task to lure the France international, with Barcelona thought to be his most likely destination.
Lewandowski, meanwhile, is currently at another of Europe’s “super clubs” Bayern Munich. And with the Poland striker having scored 27 goals already this season and having over three years remaining on his contract, he will not be easy to prize away from the Allianz Arena.
However, there have been strong rumors that he would be open to joining the 10-time European champions. Indeed, another Spanish outlet, AS, have stated outright that he does want a move to the Bernabeu and that Real Madrid have made his signing their top priority.
In the meantime, it is claimed that Lewandowski will request a new contract at Bayern Munich that would nearly double his current pay. With the current uncertainty over Karim Benzema, who faces charges in France for conspiracy to blackmail, Real Madrid may be willing to spend big to land the prolific Bayern man.