Real Madrid may be in the final of the Champions League and still very much in the running to claim the Primera Division title but there is again expected to be lavish investment at the Bernabeu this summer. And despite spending a record fee on Gareth Bale just eight months ago, Madrid’s forward line could again be strengthened.
There continues to be much speculation that Luis Suarez will be the target of a firm approach from Madrid. While there was talk of interest last summer and Suarez even publicly stated his interest in joining Los Blancos, no firm bid materialized as Arsenal undertook a long and ultimately fruitless pursuit.
After being stubbornly prevented from leaving, the Uruguayan star went onto sign a new contract and has enjoyed a sensational season. His 31 Premier League goals fired Liverpool into unexpected contention for the championship, however there were tears for Suarez on Monday as Liverpool threw away a three-goal lead at Crystal Palace to likely cost them a chance of winning the title.
In the aftermath, Britain’s Daily Mail has reported that Suarez may decide that this was Liverpool’s best chance to win the Premier League and that he has now repaid the debt supposedly owed to the club after they stuck by him following his previous indiscretions. Whether Suarez would rock the boat again so soon seems doubtful, however.
Key for the 27-year-old was to play in the Champions League and he can now realize that ambition with Liverpool next season. If Madrid were to have any chance of luring Suarez away then it would cost an amount likely not all that far short of the reported €100 million they paid to secure Bale.
Madrid’s transfer targets are not thought to end with Suarez. A regular name linked to the club in recent months has been Juventus’ Paul Pogba. The 21-year-old has established himself as one of Europe’s brightest young players since joining the Italian champions from Manchester United two years ago. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be keen admirers of Pogba, but, according to France Football, Madrid assistant coach Zinedine Zidane has phoned the midfielder to try and lure him to the Bernabeu.
Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has publicly doubted those claims and stated that the club are looking to extend Pogba’s contract. Still, the club has previously admitted that they may not be able to turn down a huge bid for his services.
With some potential big-name arrivals, there are also likely to be some high-profile departures from Real Madrid in the upcoming transfer window. Certainly if a new striker were to arrive, it is difficult to imagine Karim Benzema being retained. The France international has enjoyed a fine season after being linked with an exit last summer, yet reports continue to surface that he could be sold in order to raise funds. The Daily Mail recently claimed that Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain could all be potential destinations for the striker.
Chelsea have also been named, by Marca, as an interested party in Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The 21-year-old was signed during Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s reign at the Bernabeu and the Portuguese has since hailed Varane as the world’s best young defender.
A regular for much of last season, Varane’s appearances this campaign have been restricted by injuries and Carlo Ancelotti favoring the partnership of Sergio Ramos and Pepe. Still, it is hard to imagine Madrid been eager to lose a player who could be the fulcrum of their defense for the next decade or more.