More names seem to be leaking out of the Bernabeu, as Real Madrid appear to be in the midst of a complete overhaul this summer.
Los Blancos followed up their incredible 2011-12 La Liga championship campaign with an inconsistent start last season, and eventually finished the year 15 points behind first place Barcelona.
That disappointing conclusion resulted in Jose Mourinho’s departure back to the Premier League, and left team president Florentino Perez with plenty of decisions to make on how to improve the Spanish giants.
Most of the decisions will have to revolve around keeping forward Cristiano Ronaldo happy, and that means generating funds for top players by selling veterans.
It appears negotiations with top flight Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso have stalled, and Los Blancos could instead sell him off to Chelsea, according to the Daily Star. Alonso has one year left on his current contract, but Madrid now look poised to sell the 31-year-old off to Chelsea, and bring in Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi.
Illarramendi has never played outside of La Liga, but worked his way up from Sociedad’s B team, and the ranks of Spain’s national team over the past five years. Alonso could fetch as much as £16 million, which should be more than enough to cover Illarramendi’s release clause.
If it’s not enough, Bernabeu officials could use some of the roughly £22 million they will gain from the sale of Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Gunners and Madrid are close to finalizing a deal for the Argentine, with a medical the last hurdle to overcome. Arsenal will gain a talented scorer still in his prime to replace Oliver Giroud as captain, and Los Blancos can further pad their coffers for the transfer session.
In nearly six years with Madrid, Higuan has scored 207 goals in 187 appearances. That kind of scoring prowess should certainly be welcomed by Arsenal, especially during Champions League play next year.
It also appears defender Pepe’s days in Spain are numbered. As reported by The Independent, Manchester City have made the 30-year-old one of their top targets this summer, and their wish will most likely be granted.
City is reportedly interested in adding veterans to their side in an attempt to win now, and Pepe’s 138 appearances with Madrid, along with 51 caps for Portugal, would be a huge addition.