Where Real Madrid Must Strengthen in Summer Transfer Window

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Ilkay Gundogan of Borussia Dortmund celebrates after scoring a goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

It wasn't that long ago that the January transfer window closed, but now it's the time for Real Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti and his team of people to identify whom they require. The first move is to ascertain the quality of the squad, along with which players are likely to depart.

With a greater onus on youth, they should be looking first toward the academy to fill the voids. However, under Florentino Perez's presidency, if there's a world-class superstar he wants, then that's what he will have, regardless of which type of player he already has climbing the ranks.

Gareth Bale is a prime example; it would be difficult for anyone to anticipate the rise of Jese this season, but Madrid must have known that his talent would come through in the next few years.

Perez waits for no one, and telling the expectant world you aren't spending a huge fee on the Welshman because you have a good up-and-coming youngster would seem to go against his principles.

The team is well-equipped at present to challenge on three fronts, though if you don't move forward in football, then you go backward.

Real Madrid have perhaps the best pair of goalkeepers in the world in Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez. Keeping the two of them happy is a difficult task for Ancelotti, with both vying to earn the No. 1 spot.

With the likelihood that one of them will depart in the summer, then a back-up will be needed. Thibaut Courtois is one option, according to the Mirror's Simon Mullock, though Jose Mourinho would be loathe to sell him to his old club.

Espanyol shot stopper Kiko Casilla is another who could do the job, via Football Espana, and he would be more likely to accept a role as the reserve keeper in comparison to the Belgium.

With the defence setting new records, there's little work required in the first-choice back four. The return from injury of the young Raphael Varane and the impressive Dani Carvajal keeping Alvaro Arbeloa out means that the future looks fairly solid.

Left-back has been a real problem, and with Fabio Coentrao almost certain to leave, Marcelo needs competition. Valencia full-back Juan Bernat has been linked by Spanish newspaper Superdeporteper Here Is The City's Tom Thorogood.

In midfield, Madrid have more than array of riches with Xabi Alonso, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Sami Khedira, Asier Illarramendi and Angel di Maria competing for three positions. Providing none of them leaves, then there's little need to seek reinforcements in this area.

Although, Khedira's injury concerns and the possibility of di Maria moving back to the wide areas could see the club make a move for top all-round midfielder Ilkay Gundogan or Arturo Vidal, via the Express' Ben Jefferson.

Out wide, the emergence of Jese and the money spent on Bale will likely see no new wingers at the Bernabeu this August.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on February 16, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Centrally, Isco is being used as a "false nine," and young Alvaro Morata has had few opportunities. With Karim Benzema the only striker of note at the club, then a "Galactico" signing up front might be on the cards.

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is still the top target, via the Daily Mail's Rob Shepherd, but the Uruguayan's new contract and the success of the Anfield team this season could see any move scuppered.

A failure to make Suarez a White may see the club renew its interest in Radamel Falcao after following him last summer, per the Daily Mail's Mike Dawes.

Either way, Perez and Ancelotti are sure to appease the supporters with a transfer that will fill the stadium in the close season.


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