Real are in hot pursuit of Spurs star Gareth Bale
Pick up any newspaper or click onto any website—the amount of sensationalized speculation so far this summer is unfathomable.
In order to keep track of who, where and when, here is an update of Los Blancos’ alleged high-profile transfer focus (both acquisitions and disposals).
Neymar will be joining forces with Messi at the Camp Nou next season
Whilst all three players were linked with moves to Los Blancos, in addition to the rest of Europe’s biggest clubs, Falcao and Cavani accepted big-money moves to the ever-improving Ligue 1, whilst Neymar moved to bitter rival Barcelona.
Bale is believed to be Florentino Perez's No. 1 summer target
The Tottenham Hotspur forward received considerable praise from both Real president Florentino Perez and Madridista legend Zinedine Zidane during the close season. He is currently in Hong Kong for a preseason tournament with the Lillywhites, and speculation concerning the Welshman with a move to the Bernabeu has reached unprecedented levels.
Meanwhile, The Times reported that Manchester United have emerged as serious competitors indicating that approximately £100 million has been set aside for a dual raid on Barcelona and Spurs for Cesc Fabregas and Bale, respectively.
Historically, Spurs have stubbornly refused to cave to star players' demands to move elsewhere, so if Real are to land their No. 1 target, it will likely be both a lengthy and painstaking process.
Ronaldo will only leave Los Blancos when he retires according to Florentino Perez
A return to Manchester United?
Florentino Perez is adamant Ronaldo will be going nowhere. As goal.com reported, Perez’s comments to French sports journal L’Equipe left no doubt.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world and Real Madrid revolves around him. I can assure you that this is where he will end his career. And we have not received any offer.
In addition, former manager Jose Mourinho also quashed any rumours that the most expensive footballer on the planet would be leaving the Bernabeu. “I know Ronaldo loves Man United and I know he loves the Premier League but I think he is going to stay. It’s just a feeling,” he said, per Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph.
Luis Suarez on duty with Liverpool in Australia
Whilst Real appear to be focusing all their energy on the Spurs star Gareth Bale, Arsenal seem to have leapfrogged the Spaniards, firmly fronting the queue for the Uruguayan.
As reported by The Times, The Gunners have provocatively bid £40 million plus £1—reportedly activating a clause in the Liverpool striker’s contract allowing him to be notified of their interest, effectively stirring up a hornets' nest.
Liverpool are understandably reluctant to sell and sanctioning a move to another Premier League side would be startling. As for Suarez, it would be a puzzling move since he publicly declared his love for Liverpool at the end of the season but complained that the media made his life difficult in England.
Higuain in action for Real during pre-season
A transfer to Arsenal appeared to be a done deal in early July, but following Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment at the Bernabeu, the deal stalled amongst rumours persisting that El Pipita could yet have a Real Madrid future.
In a game of cat-and-mouse, it is understood Los Blancos and the Gunners were unable to agree on a fee—quite peculiar considering Real wanted approximately £34 million and Arsenal have now reportedly bidded £40 million (don’t forget the £1) for Suarez.
Meanwhile, with a serious amount of money burning a hole in Rafa Benitez’s pocket, Napoli have surged in to pole position in securing the Argentine’s goal-scoring services.
Fresh from selling Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for £55 million, the Scudetto runners-up have no issues meeting Real’s valuation and ESPN reports that a move to Naples is imminent as Higuain has been omitted from Wednesday’s friendly against Lyon.
Lewandowski almost single-handedly dumped Real out of last season's Champions League
Real’s chief destroyer in last season’s Champions League semifinals has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich, but Borussia Dortmund are quite rightly standing their ground, as tweeted by The Associated Press' Ciaran Fahey.
However, for a club which has been rebuilt on sound financial prudence, a bid in excess of £25 million this summer is likely to result in the acquisition of one of Europe’s deadliest strikers with one year remaining on his contract.
Using Manchester United and Robin Van Persie as a more-than-feasible case study, paying a sizable sum for a proven striker now rather than scrapping to acquire him for nothing in 12 months time is a sensible business decision—if Real are interested.
If Bale’s transfer does not materialise, expect Los Blancos to test the Germans' resolve.