Jose Mourinho has made signing Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko his top priority, according to reports, as he seeks to shore up his forward line in a bid to get the better of arch-rivals Barcelona.
The Daily Star reported that Mourinho was devastated when he failed to land Dzeko during the January transfer window, as the Bosnian striker opted for a move to Manchester City. However, he managed only six goals in a total of 21 games since his move, and with City keen to sign Udinese's Alexis Sanchez, Dzeko could be tempted to make the move to Madrid.
He has four years remaining in his contract though, having moved to City for £27m, and Madrid will have to cough up as much, if not more, to secure his services. After failing with his bid to land Dzeko in January, Mourinho had signed City striker Emmanuel Adebayor on loan. At the end of the season though, he rejected the chance to sign him permanently and has instead made the 25-year-old Dzeko his top priority.
If Dzeko does move to Bernabeu, he could be teamed up with Brazilian wiz-kid Neymar, whose current club - Santos - has slapped a £40m price-tag on him. Real are competing with English Premier League side Chelsea to capture the 19-year-old. But the Blues already have had two bids - £19m and £23m - rejected and their owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly stated that he won't bullied into over-spending on the player. If so, then Madrid could jump in to secure his services.
Neymar has a contract which runs through till 2014, and therefore, talks look likely to drag on through the summer, especially since the player had recently suggested that he might remain in Brazil for one more year before making the move to Europe.
Another player Madrid are rumored to be interested in is Juventus midfielder Mohammed Sissoko. With Lassana Diarra looking out, Sissoko is reportedly top of Mourinho's list to replace him.
Sissoko was flattered by the link but said he is happy at Juventus.
All I know about it is from the press. It makes me happy that a club like Real Madrid wants me. He told Marca. It's fantastic, but I still have two years on my contract at Juventus - a club I have great respect for. I'm flattered by the interest from Madrid, but I'm a Juventus player.''
However, if Diarra is to move, Madrid has insisted that suitors have to meet the asking price of £18m. Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is interested in the player, having worked with him during their time at Portsmouth, but the price could be a stumbling block. Turkish side Fenerbache already have had a £11m bid rejected.
Any proceeds from his sale will possibly go towards funding a move for Benefica wing-back Fabio Coentrao.
Another midfielder looking to leave Madrid is the Argentine, Fernando Gago. According to the Daily Star, he has also been told that he isn't a part of Mourinho's plans for next season, and Liverpool are a likely destination for the 25-year-old. However, the transfer fee is again a stumbling block as Madrid expect £15m with Liverpool willing to pay only £10m, having dished out on Jordan Henderson.
According to talkSPORT, Brazilian playmaker Kaka, who arrived at the Bernabeu for massive £56m from AC Milan two years back, is subject to a £26m move from Milan's city-rivals Internazionale. However, Madrid are reportedly looking to recoup most of the fee they paid for him and will not discuss any bid below £35m for the 29-year-old.