One Left Back Needed to Reinforce Real Madrid Defense

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IJuly 11, 2009

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 05:  Alvaro Arbeloa of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at The City of Manchester Stadium on October 5, 2008 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Real Madrid has moved to take a backseat in the transfer market, for now, with two more players to come—in all probability a defensive midfielder and a left-back.

Focusing on left, Marcelo has been good there last year but a fall in the pecking order behind Heinze kept him on the bench for the most part and the same fate seems to be awaiting him for next season.

The matter of signing a left back has to gain urgency in terms of zeroing in on targeted player(s). Simultaneously, the club also has to offload Gabriel Heinze who is an very overrated and under-performing player.

As natural left-footed left backs are something of a rarity in soccer, most players in that position are right-footed. This is always an inherent disadvantage for many; however, there are some notable exceptions in right-footed players being excellent performers on the left.

Right-footed left backs are sometimes used by coaches to cut in from left to the center and feed ball to forwards. Most of Real's rumored targets at right-footed.

One of them, Philipp Lahm, Bayern Munich are not willing to sell. Still there are other options as well like Fabio Grosso of Lyon with limited years but inexpensive. Maxwell can be available now that he is out of favor at Inter Milan and facing competition from youngster Davide Santon for a place.

Christian Chivu, primarily a center back but capable of playing on the left, of Inter Milan would be a little expensive at market price of €23m but can be considered.

Reports say Real is going to bid for Chelsea’s Ashley Cole who is having problems in contract negotiations but chances are slim that he will leave. Arsenal cannot be expected to sell Gael Clichy who is valued around a reasonable €15m sum.

For now, Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa is apparently a leading choice for Real Madrid. He can play at both right and left flanks and center. Circumstances now are also favorable for a move since with the coming of Glen Johnson his chances of first team place will be reduced.

Only hurdle now is that Real is offering €5m while Liverpool is demanding €6m. With such a small difference a deal is likely to be achieved sooner or later.