Real Madrid’s pursuit of Gareth Bale appears intrinsically linked with their attempts to appoint Carlo Ancelotti as manager. Madrid have yet to secure a replacement following the departure of Jose Mourinho, with their primary target locked in a stalemate with his current club Paris Saint-Germain. And the matter is further complicated by PSG’s interest in Tottenham attacker Bale.
Spanish publication AS believes that PSG will be extra determined to secure Bale as a form of revenge if Madrid take their manager. Indeed, the Daily Mirror reports that PSG are lining up a €100 million bid for the 23-year-old, in part also to help lure Bale's Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, as Ancelotti’s successor. PSG’s chances of securing Bale would be enhanced if Villas-Boas, with whom the Welshman is thought to value as a coach, becomes manager in the French capital.
It still remains likely, though, that Bale would prefer a move to Madrid. And Spanish sports daily Marca believes that Los Blancos are also willing to spend big to land the player with an offer of between €90 million and €100 million.
Bale is far from the only big name Madrid are seeking this summer, as they look to rebuild a squad that fell short in every competition last season. With Gonzalo Higuain set to depart, a leading striker is likely to feature high on the club’s list of priorities. And it is Uruguayan forward duo Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez that appear the leading targets.
Cavani is in huge demand this season following another prolific season for Napoli, in which he finished as the top scorer in Serie A. Premier League duo Manchester City and Chelsea are also believed to be interested, but Cavani has suggested that he would favor a move to the Bernabeu.
"I am very calm,” he said, according to Sky Sports. “Real Madrid are a beautiful team, every player dreams of playing there when he is a child. Those are things that they are talking from behind, as it will soon be seen. But officially nobody has talked with me."
But likely to prove a major hurdle to Madrid doing a deal for Cavani is Napoli’s insistence that his €63 million buyout clause be met. To get around that Madrid appear to be seeking to involve players in part-exchange for the 26-year-old. According to Marca, both Spain Under-21 forward Alvaro Morata and German midfielder Sami Khedira have been speculated as possible makeweights.
Cavani’s countryman Suarez is unlikely to come too much cheaper with Liverpool said to be seeking £50 million (€58.5m) if they are to reluctantly part with their leading star. Suarez continues to make comments in interviews while on international duty that he wants to depart Anfield this season and has also made positive noises about the prospect of joining Madrid. According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are becoming weary of Suarez’s statements and will demand that he hand in a written transfer request if he wishes to leave.
Madrid are also trying to lure exciting Malaga attacking midfielder Isco. After helping his club to the verge of the Champions League semifinals and also putting in some memorable performances as Spain won the European Under-21 Championship, the player is viewed as one of the best prospects in Europe. And the Valencia youth product has confirmed that both Madrid and Manchester City -- now managed by his former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini -- have been in touch.
“Yes, I have offers from both of them,” he told AS. “I hope to make my decision soon although right now, I am still under contract with Malaga. I know that both Manchester City and Real Madrid are two great clubs. I just want the best outcome for me and for Malaga.”