The international break allowed Real Madrid some time to mull over just why they are enduring such a huge La Liga collapse, and perhaps to make some short and long-term transfer plans. Los Blancos began to tinker with their already stacked lineup by swiping Porto right back Danilo from the clutches of first-place rival Barcelona for £23 million, according to The Guardian.
It’s one of the smaller deals that Real Madrid aren’t truly known for, but one that could certainly improve a squad that started the year on a tear but has slowly wilted late in the domestic campaign.
However, it’s not like Madrid aren’t lining up some potentially jaw dropping moves for the summer session either.
For one, the speculation surrounding winger Gareth Bale continues to heat up, with Metro reporting earlier this week that first-place English Premier League club Chelsea are willing to pay the Welshman’s £75 million release clause.
Bale’s faced seemingly ceaseless criticism in Spain for the last few months, with many knocking his overall fitness and performance and a switch back to England could be in the making. Bale has said publicly that he hopes to remain at the Bernabeu, but the opportunity to take the Premier League by storm with Diego Costa and Eden Hazard might be too much to pass up for the former Tottenham star.
And it’s not as if Madrid will let whatever bounty they land for Bale remain in their coffers for long. Daily Star reports that Los Blancos have pegged Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba as their top priority this summer, and that they could send current midfielder Luka Modric to Manchester City in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Madrid face stiff competition for Pogba, a 22-year-old budding French star who’s totaled seven goals and seven assists during the Italian side’s stellar Serie A campaign. Arsenal, Manchester United, City and Paris Saint-Germain, almost all capable of meeting Juve’s high fee demands as well as Pogba’s wages, have all been linked to Pogba at some point this term.
By some estimates, Pogba’s been rated as high as £80 million, and The Star reported that City could offer as much as £25 million for Modric, most or all likely going to the Old Lady in a Pogba deal.
In other news, left-back Fabio Coentrao seems to be publicly clamoring for a switch to Manchester United.
"I have already shown an interest in playing there [Manchester United]," Coentrao said after Portugal’s 2-1 victory over Serbia in Euro 2016 qualifying. "It is one of the best clubs in the world, a club I admire a lot. It would be an honour to play there."
Coentrao, 27, nearly went to Old Trafford in 2013, but the deal fell through. Since joining Madrid in 2011 he’s struggled to maintain a consistent spot in the starting lineup. Considering the pending arrival of Danilo, and with 23-year-old Daniel Carvajal signed until 2019, Madrid might be willing to grant Coentrao’s wishes.