Real Madrid Transfer: 5 Transfers Los Blancos Could Pursue This Summer
Real Madrid will be looking to add to their La Liga title-winning side this summer through the transfer market.
With Jose Mourinho already possessing one of the strongest squads in European football, it's difficult to see where sacrifices can be made in order to appease the need for transfers.
But with squad players potentially leaving, the likes of Lassana Diarra and Hamit Altintop will need replacing. Although not racking up a huge amount of games this season, Altintop is always a reliable option to have on the bench. Likewise, Diarra filled in admirably alongside Xabi Alonso for parts of the season.
Of course, the need will be to find a balance in natural first-team players and those simply filling spaces in a squad; it's still important to address the much discussed positions held by high-profile members of the team.
Kaka has a number of question marks over his future, as does Gonzalo Higuain. But Mourinho will be drawn down a path which can deliver positive and productive effects on his side, rather than buying for the sake of luxury.
It's always a plus when there's a vibe from a club to improve on what they have instead of simply making like-for-like changes.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how the club moves in the transfer window to enhance a title-winning squad. The importance, of course, is to ensure victory in Europe next season.
There's no surprise really that Real Madrid have been linked with Branislav Ivanovic in the recent past. The Chelsea defender fits the bill for what Jose Mourinho is looking for next season: a strong, versatile defender.
The appealing thing about Ivanovic is that he is a fullback first with the ability to play as a centre back when needed, rather than the other way 'round.
But for Mourinho, it would be so easy to simply slide Sergio Ramos back over onto the right full back position. Ramos has played there for much of his Madrid career and is one of the world's leading performers at fullback.
However, the success at having Ramos at centre back has meant that his place is rightfully at the heart of the defence. Not only is he a better player in that position, but he adds another dimension to the La Liga champions.
With a player like Ivanovic on board, the team will be addressing a position with a need for improvement at fullback, but also adding the option of another centre back.
Easing the workload of Pepe and Ramos next season will undoubtedly make Madrid a strong contender once again for silverware.
Gregory Van Der Wiel
Gregory van der Wiel's surprise availability this summer is certain to peak the interest of Jose Mourinho.
A much more attack-minded full back than Branislav Ivanovic, the Dutchman will add considerable quality to the Real Madrid attack down the right flank.
Madrid and Mourinho should also be encouraged by the surprisingly small transfer fee quoted, rumoured to be in the region of £7 million.
It appears Luka Modric is high up on the agenda for Jose Mourinho this summer. The Tottenham midfielder has been linked to the Bernabeu with Lassana Diarra going the other way as part of the deal.
The introduction of the Croatian is reportedly to fill the void of Kaka, who is rumoured to be leaving.
But how important should Modric be to Mourinho this summer?
Of course, he's playing in a greatly inferior side to the current Real Madrid team, but his stats don't necessarily scream value for money. Tottenham are rumoured to be after a fee in the region of £40 million, but just four goals all season in the Premier League isn't anything to be inspired by.
Modric's natural game is to keep the ball moving in the middle of the pitch. He operates naturally a little further back than where Kaka and Mesut Ozil play, yet those slots are filled by Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira. At £40 million, Modric would be far too expensive to simply be a rotation option at best.
Luka Modric is almost sure to leave Spurs this summer following their failure to land Champions League football next season. But maybe his price tag indicates that Real Madrid should perhaps look elsewhere for their midfielder.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Here's one out of left field, but let's just jog along side for a while.
Hatem Ben Arfa has had an exceptional season for Newcastle following his leg break last year. His goal against Bolton earlier in the campaign was a reminder of just how much ability is in the Frenchman. You also get the feeling that somewhere down the line, Ben Arfa will move on from Newcastle and onto a bigger stage.
He's capable of operating in a number of positions in the midfield and can offer an alternative to Angel Di Maria on the right side of attack.
With the promising season he's had this year in the Premier League, there's a level of certainty that the former Lyon player could up his game on a brighter stage in Madrid.
A different angle, but let's continue to beat this drum. After all, there is very good reason.
Gonzalo Higuain's future at Real Madrid remains uncertain, with the player and Jose Mourinho giving conflicting suggestions as to where he'll play next season.
But the importance of Higuain cannot simply be replaced by an Edinson Cavani or Sergio Aguero. Those players are of exceptional quality and would enhance the Madrid attack, but they're not Higuain.
The Argentine seems to fit perfectly with the current philosophy Jose Mourinho has implemented at the Bernabeu. Despite often playing second-fiddle to Karim Benzema, Higuain is a hard-working, excellent finisher. He seems a natural fit and complement to the other forwards in the Madrid attack. And, although not given as much game time as he'd like, he will continue to give strong performances when called upon.
A key addition to the Real Madrid squad next season will be Gonzalo Higuain. The management at Real Madrid surely understand the need to maintain the current attacking foundation and build on it rather than making potentially detrimental changes.
Higuain's decision to stay would certainly add another level of confidence, especially going into a season full of ambition.