Real Madrid have had a wonderful season. They secured their 33rd league title last month after a long five year wait. Madrid also became the first team to successfully defend the Champions League title in this current format. Zinedine Zidane has been a phenomenon since taking over the Los Blancos in January 2016. Much of Madrid’s success has been credited to Zidane and his tactics. Madrid had a better depth in squad than any other team in Europe last season, and it was wonderfully managed by Zidane. But many players are set to depart from the club this season. And Zidane will be under pressure to find replacements for them.
Cristiano Ronaldo has shocked the entire Madrid camp, stating that he will be leaving Los Blancos just after helping them win the Champions League. Much of that has been due to his frustration with the Spanish media over his tax fraud accusations. The Madrid superstar has demanded a move back to Manchester United. But it is highly unlikely that he will move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Gareth Bale has also been linked with a move away to Old Trafford. Bale was injured for most part of the season. In his absence, Isco took his role in the team and was probably the best player for Madrid last season, of course, after Ronaldo. And Bale who might just feel that his place in the team is under threat, could be on the move. But United will have to break the record fee for the second season in a row, as Madrid would not let their Welsh star go for anything less.
James Rodriguez have been heavily linked with a move away from the Spanish capital this season. The midfielder fell down the order with Zidane as newcomer Marco Asensio shone in his first season with the first team. He wasn’t included in the squad for the Champions League final in Cardiff. And a possible move to Manchester United or Paris St. Germain is on the cards for the Colombian.
Alvaro Morata is another player who expected more game time after he was re-signed by Madrid from Juventus last season. He only started 14 league games last season and scored 15 goals – an excellent return for a second choice striker. Manchester United have reportedly made Morata their top target this season as they look to find a replacement for the outgoing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Pepe has already confirmed that he will leave Madrid this summer as his contract expires. He will be ending a ten year long relationship with the club. PSG have been reported as the most probable destination as they look to get the 34-year-old centre-back’s signature.
Fabio Coentrao is set to leave Madrid after six injury-laden years with the club. Sporting Lisbon has reportedly reached an agreement with Madrid.
Keylor Navas had a mixed season. He was terrible in some of the matches at the start of 2017, but he turned up in the big games towards the end of the season, pulling off some fantastic saves which were crucial to Madrid’s success. But Madrid are looking for a young keeper to keep them running in the long term. And if any deal takes place, Navas will be asked to look for a new club. But Zidane has showed his faith in the 30-year-old Costa Rica keeper, and is expected to stay with him for one more season.
Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappe has been a sensation this season. He scored 26 goals for the Ligue 1 side, and at just 18-year-old he might become the most expensive player if a deal takes place. Zidane has been a great admirer of the youngster and will be keen to bring him to Madrid.
Madrid have been looking for Casillas’ replacement for two years now. David de Gea was considered his ideal successor, but after the fax machine incident in 2015, relations between Manchester United and Madrid have gone downhill. As a result, Madrid have reportedly stopped their pursuit of De Gea. Gianluigi Donnarumma has been strongly linked with a move away from Milan after he refused to extend his contract last week. His possible destination is believed to be Real Madrid, who are already looking for a new keeper in the market.
Pepe’s departure will mean that Madrid are short in the centre-half department. Jesus Vallejo is on loan at Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. And Zidane is ready to give him his first season with the Madrid first team. The 20-year-old Spanish defender has been good with the German side, helping them reach the DFP Pokal final this season.
Fabio Coentrao will be joining Sporting Lisbon before the start of next season. Madrid are after the signature of the 19-year-old Theo Hernandez. Theo enjoyed a good season with Deportivo Alaves, on loan from Atletico Madrid. Although Atletico are not ready to deal with their direct rival, but the player is adamant to join the all-whites come the next season.