Now that the transfer window has come around, it's time to speculate, discuss, and guess where players take their talents and how teams will cover their weaknesses.
This model is the same for La Liga champions Real Madrid this summer. Los Blancos had an incredible year as they won the Spanish league and reached the Champions League semi-finals, only to lose to Bayern Munich in penalties.
While this team obviously has an abundance of talent, manager Jose Mourinho would love to go out and bring in some great footballers with the club's seemingly unlimited spending power.
The main reason why the La Liga winners would go out and pick up some talent would be due to players potentially leaving Bernabeu.
After never really stepping up to be a star but instead performing as a role player, Kaka will most likely be on his way out and Real Madrid should accept any reasonable offer just to cut their losses.
Also, it has been rumored that two of the team's strikers, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain, are linked to different European clubs.
With a massive amount of free cash and a few potential departures, here's a taste of 10 players Los Blancos should take a long look at this summer.
It's safe to say that Luka Modric is one of the hottest names in the European transfer window so far this summer.
While Real Madrid may not be the most talked-about or anticipated destination for the Croatian midfielder, Los Blancos would be in jubilation if they could add Modric as Kaka's replacement.
Modric has the ability to move fluidly with or without the ball and the skill set to change the game with a slicing pass or long-range effort at any given moment.
Whoever does sign Modric will arguably be getting the most sought-after player in this summer's transfer window. It would be a huge victory should Real Madrid win his services.
While he mentioned that he’s comfortable at English club Everton, Marouane Fellaini said that he will consider a transfer to an “ambitious club” if one comes knocking, according to ESPN Soccernet.
The Belgian midfielder finished the Premier League season in fantastic form and had signed a new long-term contract with Everton in November.
However, Real Madrid has a realistic chance at pulling in the player, as Fellaini said he wants to play in the Champions League or in the Europa League—something Los Blancos can provide the Belgian.
While his discipline and tackling abilities are subpar, Fellaini would be a great addition to the Real Madrid midfield and probably wouldn’t cost Mourinho too much money.
One of the up-and-coming stars in European football is Moroccan international footballer Younes Belhanda, and Real Madrid would be smart to add him to their squad.
The 22-year-old was a standout performer for French club Montpellier in Ligue 1, as he scored 12 goals and dished out four assists in 28 games this season.
The versatile winger and attacking midfielder took French football by storm with his amazing vision, technique and cerebral decision-making.
Because of his impact at Montpellier, Belhanda has received a great deal of interest from clubs, including Real Madrid, according to Midi Press (h/t transfermarketweb.com).
Belhanda is a prized footballer because he's the type of young talent who can play at a high level immediately, but also blossom into a greater star later in his career.
Unless they want to potentially play against him later, Real Madrid would be wise to take a stab at the Moroccan.
2010 was a breakout year for young midfielder Yann M'Vila, causing a spur of interest from upper-echelon European clubs.
Ever since making his debut for Stade Rennes in France, the 21-year-old has made his presence known in the back midfield, stopping attackers in their tracks with skill and courage.
While his pace may not be of the premium caliber, the Frenchman's stamina and drive makes him lethal not only on the defense, but also the transition to the counter attack.
However, if Real Madrid can find a way to shift the young player's mind, the club would be getting a fantastic defensive midfielder.
Even though he is a relatively young player and has little experience playing against Europe's best, M'Vila has the promise and poise to step into a big club and perform extraordinarily well.
Brazil always seems to produce a plethora of lethal young footballers who later become highly coveted by the top European clubs.
This year is no different, as Lucas Moura of Sao Paolo has become one of the hottest prospects in South America over the last 18 months.
Lucas, who is only 19 years old, has had informal talks with Real Madrid, according to Goal.com. Italian club Inter and Champions League winners Chelsea have also been rumored suitors of the young Brazilian attacker.
Noted as being a little overconfident about his abilities, I think he has every right to feel such a way with the pace, power and trickery wanted in a vibrant attacking midfielder.
The asking price will be large, as the Daily Mail notes he’s turned down massive deals from Inter and Chelsea, but if Real Madrid can pull in this wunderkind, then he could potentially be the face of their midfield for years to come.
Not only will Real Madrid need a suitable replacement for Kaka in the midfield, but also there will be a glaring hole at right-back in 2012.
Even though some fans have suggested moving center-back Sergio Ramos to the right side, Real Madrid would be better off if they could find a world-class right-back on the transfer market.
The only problem is that an available world-class right-back doesn't really exist at this point.
However, one option that Real Madrid should, and have, been keen on is Dutch back Gregory van der Wiel.
Van der Wiel, who has spent his entire senior career with Ajax, has caught the attention of prominent clubs, including Real Madrid, reports goal.com, with his amazing pace and drive.
The Dutchman not only features great drive, but also he possesses the spurtability on the right side to push the ball up the pitch and create crossing opportunities.
If Los Blancos get the chance to lock up a guy like Gregory van der Wiel, they should take it and take it quickly.
If Gregory van der Wiel is option No. 1 for Real Madrid at right-back, then Danilo should be option No. 1a to compete with the shaky Arbeloa at right-back next season, as goal.com notes.
While Danilo is being pursued as a full-back option, the Brazilian actually is a midfielder at heart and prefers the position over defense.
However, he's had success as a right-back with an odd amount of versatility and solid aggressiveness.
If Real Madrid lose out Gregory van der Wiel, they wouldn't be settling at all with Danilo, as the 20-year-old has massive potential and the skills to live up to it.
Not only is Kaka probably on his way out, but also Real Madrid fans may see some of their forwards go elsewhere in 2012, including their best scorers not named Cristiano Ronaldo.
While both won't likely leave, Real Madrid will need to consider bringing in another scoring threat should they lose Benzema or Higuain.
One realistic and favorable signing would be that of Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan striker netted 23 goals for Serie A club Napoli in 35 games in 2011-12. While Napoli is a nice club, it will be hard to hold on to their prized 25-year-old attacker after the monster season he had.
Powerful and mighty in stature, Cavani possesses a fearless nature that leads to headed goals along with fine finishes in front of net.
If Benzema, Higuain or both leave Bernabeu, look for Real Madrid to target a natural goal scorer like Cavani.
This may be a tad far-fetched, but why wouldn't Real Madrid inquire about Didier Drogba's potential interest?
According to The Sun, Drogba declared that he would not return to Chelsea, and he is likely bound to be reunited with former Blues teammate Nicholas Anelka in Shanghai.
However, a guy like Drogba only comes around ever so often, so Los Blancos might as well take a shot at bringing in the Ivorian.
In 25 games started for Chelsea in 2011-12, the 34-year-old put 13 balls in the back of the net, including this one in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich.
Bottom line, Drogba is everything you want in a striker: aerial prowess, good pace and a powerful, accurate leg.
And if Real Madrid were able to get their hands on the Ivory Coast phenom, they could milk out another productive year from the striker.
Now, Yaya Toure may not be an absolute necessity for Real Madrid, but the squad would be much improved if they were able to reel in the Manchester City man.
A few months ago, if you brought up Toure and the possibility of transferring, people would laugh in your face.
However, Toure has made it public that he's open to new opportunities, as his advisers announced in mid-May that the Ivorian was looking for a new challenge elsewhere, according to goal.com.
If Los Blancos could catch a big fish like this and still fill their pressing needs, Real Madrid will be feeling uber confident heading into 2012.