Candidates to Follow Gareth Bale as Real Madrid's Next Galactico

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

Candidates to Follow Gareth Bale as Real Madrid's Next Galactico

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    We've all got our weaknesses—some people smoke, some drink, some shop. It is the latter which is Florentino Perez's vice.

    The Real Madrid president just can't resist spending large sums of money on expensive footballers.

    Amid the media attention these past few weeks surrounding Gareth Bale's transfer, it's largely been forgotten he'd already signed off hefty deals for Isco and Asier Illarramendi.

    It won't end here, either.

    Perhaps not for the same amount of money spent on Bale, but Perez will surely be lining up his next galactico signing soon.

    And with a lack of numbers up front—Karim Benzema is supported by youngsters Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez—a lack of goals could turn his attention to a new star No. 9 signing.

    But who's got the potential to be the next galactico?

Radamel Falcao

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    They couldn't, could they?

    This summer, Radamel Falcao left city rivals Atletico Madrid to link up with free spending Monaco.

    Many were surprised that the Colombian would forfeit the Champions League again, given that he's heading toward 30, and conspiracy theories abounded in the Spanish press that his stop in the French league was merely to facilitate a future move to the Bernabeu.

    Talking to L'Equipe, Falcao distanced himself from these stories, via ESPN:

    I would simply like to say that the article in Marca is a tissue of lies. It's just a load of rubbish. I'm very happy in Monaco. I chose this project.

    However, if that "project" doesn't work out, it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see los Blancos lining up Falcao as their next galactico. 

Mario Balotelli

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    There has been nothing to link Mario Balotelli with a move to Real Madrid. However, on many levels, he fits the bracket of the modern-day galactico perfectly.

    He recently became the first non-U.S. football player to appear on the cover of American magazine Sports Illustrated, according to Yahoo! Sport.

    That's a tick for marketability.

    Playing-wise, he has as much talent as he wants. His performance and goals against Germany in the semifinal of Euro 2012 are proof. He's also demonstrated what a talent he is at times for both AC Milan and Manchester City.

    Admittedly, it's a precarious talent, with his off-field antics often overshadowing his ability.

    However, that could just be what might draw Florentino Perez into tempting Milan to part with their star man.  

Sergio Aguero

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    Like Radamel Falcao, Sergio Aguero's status as an Atletico Madrid player never allowed him to move to Real Madrid.

    After a few years with Manchester City, though, could things be different?

    This summer, the Metro linked los Blancos with a huge bid for the Argentinian forward, suggesting they had been alerted to the fact he may be keen on a return to Spain.

    Nothing materialized, and it was probably little more than paper speculation in the end. However, the feeling around the Spanish capital remains that a potential switch to the Bernabeu is not out of the question.

    With Karim Benzema frustrating fans, who booed him at stages of the club's recent win over Athletic Bilbao, a No. 9 could elevate itself to the top of Carlo Ancelotti's wish list. 

Luis Suarez

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    After originally saying he wanted to go, Luis Suarez recently confirmed that he decided weeks ago he would stay at Liverpool, according The Express:

    For me, it has been closed for some time. I made the decision to stay at Liverpool some weeks ago and I want to stay and work for the team from now on.

    Liverpool's unwillingness to sell to a fellow Premier League club—Arsenal appeared the only serious bidder—was perhaps key in his change of heart.

    Right up until deadline day, Real Madrid were also linked with the Uruguayan forward, though. The Independent's Simon Rice even suggested a late bid could come in.

    That bid never came in, but if Florentino Perez and Carlo Ancelotti do decide to focus on a new front man in January, Liverpool may be more entertaining of a bid from foreign shores—especially if they're not in the running for a Champions League spot again. 

Erik Lamela

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    After Luka Modric last summer and Gareth Bale this, Florentino Perez and Daniel Levy might be bored without each other's company next summer.

    Therefore, if Erik Lamela turns out as good as his potential suggests, perhaps they could whittle away some more time arguing over his signature?

    Spurs signed the Argentinian from Roma as Bale's replacement for a fee which could rise to around £30 million.

    Roma fans were sad to see the winger go. Therefore, if Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League but allow Lamela to blossom, could a host of bigger clubs come in for him after just one year at White Hart Lane?

    After the Modric and Bale deals, it's probably best Tottenham and Madrid spend some time apart.