There are a host of players who have been linked with moves away from Real Madrid this season—fortunately Xabi Alonso can now be removed from that list having signed a new two-year deal last week.
However there are still some high profile members of Los Blancos’ squad who the media continue to place elsewhere.
The following slides take a look at possible replacements in the scenario that certain players may be sold, whether in January or, as is more likely, in the summer transfer window.
As recently as December, The Mirror Iker Casillas was touted as a possible target for Manchester City. The goalkeeper’s situation at the Bernabeu is well documented, and he couldn’t be blamed if he did seek a summer move.
If he does, what about Real Madrid making an audacious attempt to sign Thibaut Courtois?
The Chelsea ‘keeper’s time on loan at Atletico Madrid is coming to an end and, if the Blues aren’t prepared to choose him over Petr Cech, there could be a host of clubs waiting to swoop in and sign the Belgian.
Victor Valdes—out of contract in the summer and has confirmed he’ll leave Barcelona, surely not?
Kiko Casilla—has been fantastic for Espanyol for the last 12 months, but would he be prepared to come and fight Diego Lopez for a first team spot? At 27, he’s at a good age for a stopper.
Like Casillas, Pepe has been linked with a move to Manchester City too (h/t The Daily Mail) and, nearly 31, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if Real Madrid were prepared to let their Portuguese centre-back leave in the summer.
If they do, it would be equally non-surprising if they dipped back into the supermarket at Real Sociedad, where they signed Asier Illarramendi, and went for Inigo Martinez.
Martinez would continue the profile of signings Madrid made last summer: young, Spanish and good at football.
Mateo Musacchio—this Villarreal defender has already been linked with Barcelona by The Express, and the 23-year-old Argentine would certainly complement Madrid’s squad as well.
David Luiz—out of favour at Chelsea, brilliant for Brazil; could a big enough bid tempt Jose Mourinho to cash in?
Mehdi Benatia—the 26-year-old Algerian has impressed for the impressive Roma this season, could bigger clubs be circling?
And when he does leave, Carlo Ancelotti will surely seek competition for Marcelo.
Sevilla’s young full-back Alberto Moreno could be the perfect option. He made his debut with the full Spain side last year and has a similar profile to recent signings Dani Carvajal, Asier Illarramendi and Isco.
Patrice Evra—Manchester United’s left-back is out of contract in the summer and, if a younger alternative isn’t available, would provide short-term competition and depth to Ancelotti’s squad.
Mattia De Sciglio—Milan wouldn’t be keen to sell their fantastic young left-back, 21, but with the club going through a difficult time on the pitch, they may find it hard to keep hold of him.
Real Madrid seem to have an abundance of midfielders, but it doesn’t seem to stop them being linked with signing more. Perhaps that’s a hint that Sami Khedira could be sold amid The Mirror linking him with Manchester United and Arsenal.
Paul Pogba—possibly Europe’s hottest property at the moment, which will surely make him the Juventus youngster a Real Madrid target eventually.
So if the Argentine goes, surely the Italian would have to line up another creative player to compete with Isco?
One man he could turn to is Juan Mata, who has fallen out of favour at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, although whether he would fit into Real Madrid’s system is another matter altogether.
Mata previously played for the cantera at Madrid before leaving for Valencia.
Julian Draxler—linked with Arsenal in The Daily Mail, could Madrid be keen on Schalke’s talented youngster if Di Maria goes?
Antoine Griezmann—primarily a winger for Real Sociedad, it’s thought he eventually wants to play more centrally. Although a great talent, he might not prove the right fit in a side featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and a No. 9.
Borussia Dortmund (h/t The Daily Mail) and Juventus (h/t AS) are among the potential suitors for Karim Benzema this summer, with one man surely the top priority at the Bernabeu should the French striker leave: Luis Suarez.
The Liverpool front man has scored 22 Premier League goals this season in just 16 games. Those are the sort of numbers we’ve come to expect from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Imagine him sandwiched between Ronaldo and Gareth Bale next season.
Radamel Falcao—possibly up for grabs this summer is Monaco’s Colombian striker, but has his Real Madrid ship sailed? If Suarez isn’t attainable, he could be a decent fallback.