Real Madrid Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 30

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

Real Madrid Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of December 30

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    The arrival of the New Year can only mean one thingJanuary madness is upon us.

    We know the drill.

    For one month in the middle of the season, clubs are allowed to sign and sell players in hope of improving their squads for a relegation battle, a title tilt or just because they can.

    Real Madrid are no different, and the regularity with which rumours appear in the media about who Madrid may sign and sell will begin to increase now.

    The following slides will keep you in check with who's saying what.

    —LAST UPDATE: Saturday, January 4— 

Physical Concerns Delaying Alonso?

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Saturday, January 4

    Mikel Arteta believes that physical concerns weighing on Xabi Alonso's mind is the reason the Basque midfielder is delaying signing a new deal at Real Madrid.

    The Arsenal midfielder, who's good friends with Alonso, was speaking on radio station La Cope (h/t AS) this week.

    “I’ve known him since we were both kids. If he has any doubts about renewing his contract, I’m sure it won’t be just for sporting issues; it will be because he has concerns about being physically up to it. He is a very noble guy.

    "I am sure that he has looked at it from every possible angle and he will have his decision clear in his mind. Over here, there are a lot of teams interested in him, he could take his pick."

    For now though, Alonso's contract situation remains up in the air.

Ancelotti Likes Pirlo

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Saturday, January 4

    The title to this slide goes without saying.

    Carlo Ancelotti coached Andrea Pirlo at AC Milan for years, so it is only obvious that he rates so highly a player who was so important to his side.

    However it was unknown how much he still rated him, until this week.

    One of the Italian's former assistants, Giorgio Ciaschini, talking to (h/t football-espana), suggested Ancelotti's interest is still current:

    “Ancelotti asked after him when he was at Chelsea, last year when with Paris Saint-Germain and even now coaching at Real Madrid. Pirlo is a universal player. The problem is that Juventus are not crazy enough to let him go.”

    Pirlo turns 35 in May.

No Suarez Buyout

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Saturday, January 4

    According to Marca Luis Suarez's new contract doesn't include a minimum fee release clause.

    The Madrid-based paper say that, for whatever reason, Los Blancos decided not to follow through on an agreement they had to sign the Uruguayan in the summer, but could still maintain an interest.

    However the 25-year-old's price could now have doubled the report speculates:

    "A move for Suarez would have no fixed price, although he is now valued at double the previous clause, at least. Liverpool would surely be reluctant to sell their prized asset for less than €80-90 million."

    The Liverpool forward is thought to be Madrid's ideal choice, but could they be put off by having to pay so much after forking out for Gareth Bale last summer?

Ancelotti on a Quiet Window

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Saturday, January 4

    If we choose to believe Carlo Ancelotti then we should expect a quiet transfer window at Real Madrid.

    Speaking to reporters after Madrid's exhibition match against PSG (h/t The Guardian), the Italian warned people not to expect any action in or out of the Bernabeu.

    "There is nothing new on that issue. No players will leave, nor will we sign anyone. For us, the market is closed."

    However, as honest as Ancelotti's words and intentions may be, it's still possible players may leave or join Madrid during the next monthsuch is the nature of the transfer window.

Alonso Update

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Thursday, January 2

    Two days into the New Year and fans of Real Madrid are still no closer to finding out if Xabi Alonso is going to, as they hope, renew his contract at the Bernabeu.

    So far the signals have ranged from negative to positive.

    Alonso has travelled to Doha with the club for Thursday's friendly against PSG, but so far 2014 has seen no updates to the status of his future beyond the summer.

    However, according to football-espana, the two parties will meet inside the next week to continue their negotiations.

Madrid Keen on Free Left-Back?

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Thursday, January 2

    With Fabio Coentrao reportedly set to leave in January (see later slides) Carlo Ancelotti is rumoured to be lining up a cut-price replacement.

    That replacement comes in the form of Ashley Cole.

    The left-back, 33, is out of contract in the summer and has fallen out of favour at Chelsea since the return of Jose Mourinho.

    Ancelotti, who managed Cole during his tenure at Stamford Bridge, still believes the defender is capable of playing at the highest level and is prepared to offer him a short-term deal, according to The Express.

Where Next for Fabio?

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Thursday, January 2

    Talking of left-backs, this window is thought to be the one which will at last see Fabio Coentrao leave the Bernabeu.

    The Daily Mail say Tottenham are firmly interested in signing the Portuguese international.

    However they say that the London club may miss out to Manchester United, who failed with a last minute bid to sign Coentrao in the summer.

    Interest from other English and Portuguese clubs is also anticipated.

One Targt Staying at PSG

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    Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

    Thursday, January 2

    Real Madrid's interest in French midfielder Blaise Matuidi will surely come to an end now after the player agreed to a new deal at PSG.

    Speaking to RMC (h/t the club's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi confirmed the news:

    "I can confirm Blaise Matuidi will remain at Paris Saint-Germain. Blaise is very happy at PSG."

    Matuidi's current contract is due to expire in June.

Paulinho a Target?

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Monday, December 30

    According to The Telegraph, we could find ourselves braced for another battle of minds between Daniel Levy and Florentino Perez.

    That's because the English newspaper is reporting that Carlo Ancelotti is interested in Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.

    The 25-year-old only joined Spurs in the summer, but Jason Burt writes that Ancelotti could be prepared to make a January bid to ward off competition from other clubs next summer.

    Levy and Perez's relationship isn't thought to be great after the Luka Modric and Gareth Bale transfer sagas, so any negotiations could prove interesting. 

Alonso Update

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Monday, December 30

    Xabi Alonso's contract situation continues to rumble on without becoming any clearer.

    Marca are reporting that "Xabi has more or less made his mind up and has instructed his friend and agent, Inaki Ibanez, to begin negotiating a new contract. In other words, his first choice is to stay at the Bernabeu."

    However, speaking to Spanish TV channel Cuatro (h/t AS), Zinedine Zidane wasn't so sure:

    "We don’t know anything about Xabi."

    Either way, Madrid fans would like to know sooner rather than later how Alonso's contract situation is going to end. 

Coentrao Off?

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Monday, December 30

    You know the transfer window is nigh when you see Fabio Coentrao's name.

    The left-back has been continually linked with a move away from Real Madrid recently, and the winter transfer window is set to prove no different.

    AS (h/t Football Espana) say that the Portuguese international is looking for a way out of the Bernabeu this January.

    They go on to report that he can count on interest from both Portugal and England. 

More Arsenal and Morata

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    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Monday, December 30

    One rumour that hasn't gone away over the last few months is Arsenal's reported interest in Alvaro Morata.

    The Daily Mail are still suggesting that a deal could happen.

    Arsene Wenger is desperately seeking competition for Olivier Giroud, while Morata is struggling to break into Carlo Ancelotti's plans.

    A loan deal is suggested as a possible solution by the English paper, but it's unknown how willing Madrid are to let the young forward leave in January. 

Gundogan Interest Confirmed

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    Monday, December 30

    The father and agent of Ilkay Gundogan has spoken out about the Borussia Dortmund midfielder's future.

    Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS (h/t Football Espana), Irfan Gundogan confirmed Real Madrid's interest in signing the 23-year-old German international:

    "The interest from Madrid is intense, they want to bid for my son. But at the moment, we can’t do anything until his back injury has gone. When he’s back playing regularly, then maybe we will talk."

    Gundogan hasn't played for Dortmund since August after picking up an injury on international duty against Paraguay.