A relatively quiet summer transfer session at the Santiago Bernabeu could be coming to an end shortly, however, Real Madrid’s potential reshuffling is unlikely to result in the signing of French midfielder Paul Pogba.
The 23-year-old Juventus star has long been linked to a record-setting move back to Manchester United, and while Marca reports that new Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is a “fan” of Pogba’s, team president Florentino Perez is not and also doesn’t desire a bidding war with United.
Instead, according to reports, Los Blancos are advancing their pursuit of Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko right after United puts the finishing touches on their deal for Pogba. Daily Telegraph reports Madrid are hoping to land the 26-year-old for roughly £30 million and evidently believe he can find a more consistent form in Spain rather than the Premier League.
Since joining Newcastle in 2012 after breaking out with Toulouse as a youth, Sissoko’s totaled only 11 goals in 118 appearances for the Magpies and he’s likely keen on leaving St. James Park as the club was relegated to Championship after an 18th place finish last term.
Sissoko’s proved inconsistent with Newcastle, but Madrid are banking on his solid form during France’s sprint to the Euro 2016 final.
Sissoko also stands to prove himself better than perhaps the more accomplished Pogba would, and personalities and rivalries could develop for pitch time as Zidane can already roll out Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, and James Rodriguez in midfield.
And in a similar vein, Madrid’s sole transfer this summer (the £22 million deal with Juventus for striker Alvaro Morata) has clearly made young striker Jese expendable and eager to leave the Bernabeu.
According to The Sun, the 23-year-old Spaniard desires more first-team time and Zidane can provide no assurances with Madrid’s attack obviously loaded up top with Cristiano Ronaldo, Morata, and Karim Benzema holding down regular appearances.
That fact has opened the door for both Liverpool and Arsenal to pursue Jese, who’s made 63 first-team appearances and netted 13 goals over the last five years with Madrid and has had similar production with Spain’s under-21 and younger national teams. Jese’s current market value is just under £12 million, but Madrid will likely ask for more after investing so much time and money in his development from youth.
The report also stresses that even Rodriguez’s future is “unclear.” Evidently, one unknown club has already bid £70 million for the Colombian, but he reportedly has no desire to leave Los Blancos and wants to earn his a starting position next term.
Given Madrid’s trouble overcoming La Liga’s two other top clubs, keeping as much talent in the attack as possible is likely to its benefit. Los Blancos have finished second in La Liga the last two seasons running and haven’t claimed the domestic title since 2012.
Barcelona has won three of the last four crowns and Atletico Madrid the other, but the reigning Champions League victors are evidently content with the majority of their squad.