With Gonzalo Higuain continuing to attract interest from across Europe, latterly from Napoli and Chelsea, Real Madrid remain active in exploring options to replace the Argentinian up front. Their attention could now be focused on Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the Paris Saint-Germain striker eager to join Madrid and prepared to take a pay cut to do so, according to Spanish sports daily AS.
The big-money signing by PSG of Edinson Cavani has called Ibrahimovic’s future in the French capital into question. Throughout his career the Swede has flourished when being the focus of a team’s attacking attention, including under the charge of new Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti at PSG last season. While Cavani has said that he is looking forward to linking up with Ibrahimovic, Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis claimed that the former Barcelona striker would be leaving.
Yet, the size of Ibrahimovic’s contract at PSG, signed just a year ago, is sure to prove a significant obstacle to any transfer to Madrid. Currently he earns an incredible €14 million a year after tax to make him one of the world’s highest-paid players.
Ibrahimovic is not Madrid’s only option, though, with AS also reporting that the club remain in the hunt for Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has made it known that he wants to leave Liverpool and has also made no secret of the fact that he would relish a move to the Bernabeu. However, no bid has yet arrived from Madrid, in contrast to Arsenal which has already had an offer of £30 million rejected.
There is a £40 million clause in Suarez’s contract, although there is some uncertainty as to what exactly it pertains. The player’s camp are reportedly of the belief that it is a straightforward buyout clause, whereas Liverpool are adamant that it merely entitles Suarez to be informed of the bid. And Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has reiterated that they have no desire to lose the 26-year-old this summer.
“When you consider Edinson Cavani has gone for £55 million, Luis is up there in that bracket of top talent,” he said, according to ESPN. “Arsenal’s was an offer we didn’t deem worthy of the talent. There’s no guarantee Luis would be sold even for that because we are trying to build something -- we don’t have to sell. We’re prepared to spend and get people in without having to sell him. The reality is we have had one offer. So there can be as much speculation as you like, there’s been nothing beyond that.”
Throughout the summer, it has been Gareth Bale who has been top of Madrid’s most-wanted list. It appears increasingly likely, though, that the attacker will be staying at Tottenham for at least another season. On the back of a claim from the Daily Mirror that Manchester United were considering a £60 million bid, the Daily Telegraph has reported that Tottenham will not sell the Welshman for any price this summer. It is said that Madrid have been informed of this and that Los Merengues have now conceded defeat in their pursuit. Bale has also given a strong hint that he will be staying at White Hart Lane under manager Andre Villas-Boas.
“We have a great relationship,” he said, according to The Sun. “Last season we had a great campaign and obviously we came up short but we had a great working relationship on and off the field. We chatted quite a lot about tactics and stuff like that. He definitely got the best out of me last season and hopefully can again.”