Real Madrid haven't been able to recapture the magic that allowed the La Liga powerhouse to claim the league title over rival Barcelona last season. Blancos supporters are looking toward the January transfer window for potential help.
Even though Madrid manager Jose Mourinho hasn't laid out any concrete plans for the window, the club has already been linked to several high-profile players. Whether or not the Blancos decide to make a major splash is yet to be seen.
As January quickly approaches, let's examine some of the latest updates about what the future might hold for stars linked to Madrid. Things aren't exactly heating up. At least not yet.
Falcao continues to shine for Atletico Madrid. The extremely talented striker has netted 20 goals in 16 games across all competitions this season, including five in a single La Liga match against Deportivo a couple weeks ago.
Ben Hayward of Goal.com reports there are multiple hurdles the Blancos would have to jump in order to land Falcao, who's one of the most coveted players in Europe. But he also suggests the idea can't be dismissed completely.
The deal wouldn't be completed until summer, but it's definitely something to keep in mind because Madrid would probably have to staying laying the groundwork in January to make it work. He would clearly be a terrific addition to an already stacked squad.
Which player would be the best fit for Madrid?
Mourinho has tracked Bale for quite some time. The talented winger would be a perfect fit in the Madrid boss' system and possesses the demeanor necessary to succeed at Santiago Bernabeu, making it no surprise he's been linked to the Blancos.
Alas, Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas doesn't think Bale will be leaving the Spurs during the January window, according to Simon Cass of the Daily Mail. He reports Villas-Boas is expecting a quiet window for his club.
It's always difficult to get a clear read on a manager's outlook in the weeks leading up to transfer windows because nobody wants to reveal their hand. They want to maintain as much bargaining power as possible. But it seems like landing Bale has become a long shot, for now.
Daniele De Rossi
De Rossi is another player that's been on the Madrid radar for a while. He's a midfielder with a tremendous range of abilities that would really bring everything back together for the Blancos, who have watch their form slip this season.
Manchester City have also been linked to the 29-year-old Italian star. Yet Adam Digby of ESPN reports his current club, Roma, haven't had talks with any teams about moving him despite issues about his placement within the squad.
Madrid could really use a player like De Rossi to boost the midfield, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see them make a push for him in January. That said, it doesn't sound like anything is in the works quite yet for the versatile veteran.