Soon after the last season closed and Florentino Pérez took charge of the club presidency, there have been consistently ample rumors that many players especially the Dutch will be offloaded en masse in this transfer window.
It defies logic as to why they all will be indiscriminately purged when they are not mediocre players. Real Madrid spent big money to buy them and cannot afford to blow so much money with such regularity. Many possess extraordinary talent and are still too young to offer long years of service to the club.
Why would the club want to sell these players on meager values and buy expensive ones to replace them is beyond many. For one, it would be very difficult to get good prices for Van Nistelrooy and Mahamadou Diarra as both are coming off of serious injuries (Van Nistelrooy reportedly might be sold for €1.5m to Tottenham).
Robben was purchased from Chelsea for €36m and still has three more years on his contract. Van Der Vaart came for €13m and has four more years. Wesley Sneijder for €27m and still has three years. Huntelaar arrived for four years on €20m as initial sum. Van Nistelrooy has another year. Mahamadou Diarra for €26m and has two more years.
Granted that Robben is injury-prone who sometimes doesn’t know when to pass the ball to others and ends up wasting the entire effort itself but he is fast and effective. Van Der Vaart is an excellent attacking midfielder who was nominated FIFA Player of the Year for performance at Hamburg but if he is not sold then possibly will be a bench-warmer next season.
Sneijder is an attacking midfielder who can become integral part of the team. Huntelaar is an excellent striker for a No. 9 position and in the long run can take place of Van Nistelrooy or Raul. Van Nistelrooy had a severe injury last year but if recovers well then he can perform better than Raul.
Before last year’s injury Mahamadou Diarra was crucial in the defensive midfield for two seasons though now Lass will make it difficult for him to get his place back making him superfluous.
In the case of Royston Drenthe, it is fine to loan him out or sell with a buy-back option (currently being linked to Fiorentina) so he could improve his skills and become consistent performer. This solution can also be applied to Fernando Gago and Javi Garcia.
Raul Albiol’s transfer of from Valencia has been confirmed and can take place vacated by Cannavaro in the center. Ezequiel Garay will also arrive from Racing Santander and can serve as substitute for Pepe in center or Ramos at right. So Maicon can be overlooked and Metzelder might be sold.
Now priority should be to buy a left back. Marcelo can play as left wing back and left winger, however, for left back Alvaro Arbeola seems to be the frontrunner according to rumors but he is primarily a right back. Philipp Lahm (actually right back but effectively plays on the left) and Yuri Zhirkov (a strong Chelsea target) are also prominent players to be considered, who are on the wish list of Barcelona and other top European clubs, because they can also be part of the offense.
Then there is a question of signing more strikers when club already has Raul, Higuain, Van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar. Alvaro Negredo, Saviola and Alberto Bueno can be brought up from Castilla. Why go for David Villa or Karim Benzema then and pay huge sums? But if Alberto Bueno is loaned out and Negredo is sold then another striker will certainly come.
Saviola was brought by Schuster but neither he nor Juande Ramos used him regularly (mostly in Copa del Rey and primarily as substitute in La Liga) though he is a talented player upfront. He has suffered at Real Madrid and will probably leave this year to save his career.
As for left wing, if Robben is to be sold then Real will need a replacement which might be Ribéry. David Silva would have been an excellent and relatively inexpensive choice, as he can play on both wings and as playmaker plus supporting striker, had Valencia been prepared to sell him. Jesús Navas from Sevilla can be another viable option.
All in all Real have its options and also competition for them. It will have to be careful so as not to sell quality players. Only couple of more discrete purchases avoiding overspending and club will be home and dry.