James Rodriguez is destined to be this summer's Galactico signing for Real Madrid. His arrival, although exciting, ensures the onset of a worrying mass exodus at the Bernabeu. Rodriguez is expected to complete his transfer this week, as reported by Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail:
The star of the 2014 World Cup, James Rodriguez will sign for Real Madrid this Wednesday for £48million in a transfer that will push several players towards Premier League exits.
Rodriguez was in Spain on Sunday on his way back from Colombia to Monaco where he will say his goodbye to the club this week before returning to the Spanish capital to sign a new six-year deal.
Jones also indicates the signing could push "as many as three Real Madrid players" away from the club.
Rodriguez's signing is certainly thrilling for many fans, but others may question the decision to galvanise Los Blancos' already stunning attacking options. Florentino Perez likes to secure world-renowned talent every season—highlighted by Gareth Bale's signing last year—but he risks damaging the function of Carlo Ancelotti's team by continually spending massive amounts on offensive players.
Alongside the arrival of Toni Kroos, Rodriguez's signing is likely to see Isco, Angel Di Maria and Sami Khedira leave, as reported by Peter Staunton of Goal.com. Alvaro Morata has already been deemed surplus to requirements and heads to Juventus, per The Independent, while Casemiro grabbed a loan deal with Porto, as noted by the Agence France-Presse (via Yahoo).
This is a worrying turnover of stars for the acquisition of two luxury signings. Kroos' deal was too good to miss at €25 million, per Carlos Carpio of Marca, but Rodriguez's move is gluttonous when considering the balance of the team. Tre Atkinson of Inside Spanish Football also suggests as much:
James to Real Madrid makes them a big favorite for the La Liga title. If they can figure out how to protect their defense.— Tre Atkinson (@TreAtkinson) July 20, 2014
Real could effectively discard five versatile individuals who help strengthen multiple squad areas in favour of adding a more profitable name to the club's attacking brand.
Rodriguez can play through the centre or on either wing, but it's unlikely he will be used in a deeper role when Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema start. Ancelotti needs Kroos alongside Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric to ensure his side doesn't become offensively lopsided, but each of the trio's best attributes is wasted in an explicitly defensive midfield role.
Will Real Madrid start the season with too many attacking players?
If one of the central three become injured and Real sell those outlined above, Ancelotti will only have Asier Illarramendi to fall back on. He may even follow Casemiro to Portugal, as noted by A Bola and reported by Marca.
Loan deals fail to significantly help Real when it comes to addressing UEFA's financial fair play rules, although they do offer slight breathing space for the year's wage bill. It's unlikely Perez can afford to mobilise funds for top quality defensive midfielders on the back of his two summer signings, meaning attacking style is favoured at all times.
Although we've witnessed an era of Galaticos before, the likes of Claude Makelele, Guti and Ivan Helguera were around to ensure balance remained. Real's potential 2014-15 squad risks being exposed and also dismisses the development of players whom fans have grown to adore.
Both Isco and Morata have been taken to Madrid hearts, with the latter saying he was "welcomed like a son" upon his arrival, per Real's official website (via Tom Conn of Inside Spanish Football). It's unlikely both young stars will even receive, or would have received in Morata's case, the chance to excel in the capital, a potentially disheartening realisation for supporters who wish to see the development of youth.
Some may even worry for the long-term future of Jese Rodriguez, who can't be thrilled by James' potential arrival. Perez should be applauded for aiding the elite side's air of majesty, but each top-dollar deal takes place at the detriment of another player.
When those who offer the team quality across the pitch—most notably through the centre—are being pushed aside, the functionality of such a transfer is dampened. James will likely progress to be a Real star, but right now, his transfer could tip the balance of a side that needs to follow La Decima with further silverware.