After a particularly active summer transfer period, more speculation surrounds Real Madrid as they consider making more bold moves this January to bolster their chances to win La Liga and Champions League.
Los Blancos are currently in third place in La Liga with 22 points, trailing their chief rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Barcelona have 31 points, while Atletico have 26. Carlo Ancelotti’s arrival in June was followed by the jettisoning of Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Kaka, Raul Albiol, and Ricardo Carvalho in favor of Gareth Bale, Asier Illarramendi, and Isco.
The results have not shown in La Liga, but it has been smooth sailing in Champions League group play. Real Madrid have outscored Galatasaray, Juventus, and Copenhagen 12-2, en route to a 3-0 record and an almost certain berth in the knockout phase.
Ancelotti may need to fine tune the roster if Real Madrid hope to live up to lofty expectations in 2013-2014. For a club that doesn't hesitate to make changes, Real Madrid could make plenty in January.
The most attractive player expected to be available is superstar forward Radamel Falcao, who moved from Atletico to Monaco in May for roughly €60 million. Some believe that Falcao’s move to the Bernabeu is inevitable considering Atletico would not directly move the striker to their local rival, making his move to Monaco just a temporary stay. According to The Independent, Falcao has thanked Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for his interest, and has not ruled out joining the club.
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Falcao remains in fine form. He already has eight goals in 11 appearances for the Ligue 1 club.
Another striker who has drawn interest from Madrid is Luis Suarez. There had been summer speculation that the Liverpool star was on his way out of Anfield, and that Madrid was the obvious destination. However, the Reds have had a resurgence in the Premier League, and Brendan Rodgers has stated that there is no desire in moving the Uruguayan to Real Madrid or anywhere. But Daily Mail, Metro and Daily Star have all reported this month that a move might be in the works. One potential scenario includes a £20 million fee along with forward Karim Benzema.
The possibility of Benzema leaving the Bernabeu continues to makes headlines. The Sun and Metro recently reported that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is willing to make a bid to reunite Benzema with Ozil at the Emirates. Arsenal made a splash with their late signing of Ozil, but the Gunners still have roughly £30 million to spend and have their sights set on adding a forward. Should Perez lure in Falcao, the possibility of moving Benzema to the Premier League would almost certainly increase.
The 25-year-old has scored 57 goals for Real Madrid in 133 appearances since joining the club from Lyon in 2009.
Then there is the issue of goalkeeper Iker Casillas. One of the most recognizable figures for Real Madrid in recent years, Casillas has been disappointed by a lack of playing time, and was recently benched for Diego Lopez in a match against Barcelona. The Independent reported that Arsenal are on alert after Casillas claims he would leave Madrid if he continues to be a reserve. Borussia Dortmund are also interested in Casillas, according to Daily Mirror.
An IB Times staff reporter contributed to this report.