For Real Madrid, it's currently all about defections—planned or otherwise—from manager Carlo Ancelotti's squad. Veteran goalkeeper Diego Lopez is in the news, as are winger Angel Di Maria and young centre-back Raphael Varane.
There is also a potential development in the situation regarding midfielder Sami Khedira. Here's a closer look at these rumours, beginning with Lopez:
Lopez Will Reportedly Sign with AC Milan
According to Marca, Serie A side AC Milan will soon sign Lopez:
Diego López is AC Milan-bound. Having agreed terms on a four-year contract with the 'Rossoneri', the goalkeeper will undergo a medical on Monday. The Galician giant's departure marks the end of one of this summer's transfer sagas, with the arrival of Keylor Navas forcing Real Madrid to dispense with one of their two other shotstoppers.
As the report indicated, Lopez's pending departure has created room in an otherwise crowded rotation between the sticks. Fellow veteran Iker Casillas is still around, although he could be on borrowed time.
His form has dipped significantly in recent seasons. Not only should Casillas be wary about the arrival of Navas, he should also concern himself with Ancelotti's plans to recruit a new stopper.
Chelsea to Offer Petr Cech for Varane
Those plans apparently include pursuing a deal for Chelsea's experienced 'keeper Petr Cech. According to Daily Express reporter Tony Banks, Ancelotti is ready to bid for the 32-year-old. However, Banks has also noted that the Blues will demand a heavy price for their long-time stopper:
Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, Cech's manager at Chelsea for two years until 2011, wants to capitalise on his old club's goalkeeping dilemma to take Cech to Spain on the cheap.
Real have made preliminary enquiries about Cech but will face competition from both Paris Saint Germain and Monaco.
Chelsea could use Cech as bait to persuade Real to sell them French central defender Raphael Varane, a player Mourinho has been targeting all season.
Interest from mega-rich duo PSG and Monaco would worry most clubs, but not Los Blancos. However, ex-Real boss Jose Mourinho's attempts to snatch Varane might irk a few members of the club's hierarchy.
The young Frenchman is a precocious talent. The 21-year-old doesn't look out of place at the top level, despite his tender years.
Madrid's current centre-back pairing is comprised of veteran Sergio Ramos and the reckless Pepe. So Ancelotti would be wise to retain Varane.
Khedira Talking with Premier League Clubs
Amid any other concerns he has, Ancelotti also knows he must soon resolve the situation regarding Khedira. The energetic, powerful German midfielder only has one year remaining on his current deal.
The German midfielder has rejected a new contract offer from Real Madrid and Los Blancos are currently asking 25 million euros for his transfer.
There have been suggestions that Jose Mourinho has urged Khedira to sit out his deal at Real Madrid and join Chelsea on a bumper contract next summer.
It's the last part of that quote that should concern Madrid's decision-makers the most. The club would naturally be loath to lose a player of Khedira's quality for nothing.
However, shifting the player at the fee suggested won't be easy. Real can't change Khedira's contract reality, but maybe the club can get more realistic about its own demands.
Manchester United May Offer €70 Million for Di Maria
Marca report that Manchester United are preparing a 70 million euro bid for Di Maria who is keen to leave the Bernabeu.
Catalan paper Sport have revealed that Barcelona are now in the box seat to sign Cuadrado, with Manchester United having left the race to concentrate on Di Maria.
It's frankly strange and rare to find Madrid-based Marca and Catalan outlet Sport in agreement on a rumour. However, this one may have been inspired by United manager Louis van Gaal's recent less-than-subtle hint, per Goal.com reporter Sacha Pisani:
At this moment, we have five number nines and four number 10s – and we don't have wingers to give us attacking width.
Or, I should say, we don't have wingers of the highest level, like Ronaldo or Di Maria or somebody like that.
It's still strange to consider Madrid letting Di Maria go. After all, the player thrived under Ancelotti's tutelage last season.
The shrewd Italian boss moved the traditional wide man into a central role. Di Maria responded with 17 assists in La Liga action, per WhoScored.com.
However, since the arrivals of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, Di Maria's place has been put in jeopardy. There can be little doubt the club would accept a €70 million offer for a player likely to be sidelined by new arrivals.
Real are in the fortunate position of having a deep squad brimming with players most other clubs covet. So Ancelotti can afford to trim some positions, particularly if it means Los Blancos earning a small fortune in the process.
Exits for Di Maria and Khedira seem most likely, although the latter's might require some compromise over the fee. However, don't count on Mourinho getting his wish of landing Varane.
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