Real Madrid have been very active acquiring players throughout the 2014 summer window and as we draw ever closer to the end of the transfer period, several star players are rumoured to be on their way out of the Spanish capital.
Financial Fair Play gives clubs an extra incentive to sell some of their assets, and while Los Blancos aren't exactly strapped for cash, it appears likely at least two vital contributors could soon be playing in different colours.
Here's the latest buzz surrounding players potentially departing Real before the end of the window.
Angel Di Maria
At long last there is significant movement in the seemingly never ending, ‘Will he stay or will he go’ saga of Angel di Maria. It now looks certain that he will leave Real Madrid and become a Manchester United player. The final meetings will take place at the beginning of next week.
United will pay between 60-70 million Euros (£48-55m) for the player. More than 60. A great deal for Madrid.
According to Balague, Di Maria's agent Jorge Mendes was on his way to Manchester to discuss terms with the Red Devils, as his client looks set to become the club's marquee signing of the 2014 summer window.
A fee between £48 and 55 million is more than fair value for a player who has been rumoured to depart the club all throughout summer, and United could smash the British transfer record by paying such a hefty sum for the Argentine international.
Paris Saint-Germain were also in the mix to sign Di Maria, but the French champions have already conducted a lot of business during the summer and needed to sell some players to comply with FFP regulations.
Gianluca Di Marzio's David Amoyal believes Los Blancos should be sad to see the winger go:
How about taking a moment to appreciate and be grateful for Di Maria without worrying about what maybe next? He is a GREAT player— David Amoyal (@DavidAmoyal) August 24, 2014
Di Maria was one of the club's most consistent performers during the 2013-14 season, playing a vital role in Real finally winning the elusive Decima. The arrival of James Rodriguez seemed to create a rift between club and player, however, and a transfer has seemed almost inevitable ever since.
The German midfielder looks set to join Di Maria through the exit door, with both the player and Carlo Ancelotti suggesting his time in the Spanish capital is all but over.
As reported by Goal.com's Mark Doyle, Khedira remained diplomatic when asked about his future with Real by Bild: "Right now I'm a little out of Real Madrid," he said "But until August 31 anything is possible."
Ancelotti was less optimistic, via ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
Ancelotti: “Khedira has been given permission to leave, so I am not interested in where he goes.”— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) August 22, 2014
Ancelotti couldn't find a place in his squad for Khedira for the Spanish Super Cup match against Atletico Madrid, giving fans and pundits plenty of reasons to believe the departure is imminent.
Bayern Munich and Arsenal are often quoted as the two favourites to land the 27-year-old, the former in need of a new midfielder following the injury to Javi Martinez and the latter still seeking to add one more star player to the squad.
Khedira's contract will run out at the end of the 2014-15 season, and per the Independent's Chris Wheatly, he has declined to sign a new deal:
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says Sami Khedira has rejected a new contract. Current deal expires next summer. Arsenal keen.— Chris Wheatley (@GoonerTalk) August 21, 2014
That decision has forced Real into a sale, as the club seeks to recuperate some finances before the player walks for free at the end of this season.
The Daily Express' Ben Jefferson picked up on a wild report from Italy suggesting Manchester United could make a move for Alonso to thwart Arsenal's hopes of capturing Khedira, solving the issues the Red Devils have in midfield in the process.
United have been linked with Juventus' Arturo Vidal and AS Roma's Kevin Strootman throughout the window but both players seem unlikely to leave their respective clubs, and Louis van Gaal has now reportedly turned to Alonso.
But at the age of 32, Alonso can no longer demand the kind of transfer fee that would justify a sale, and the Spaniard still holds too much value to Los Blancos for him to be sold at a reduced price.
Bleacher Report's Guillem Balague set the record straight:
Not sure who is coming with the idea but there is no way at all that Xabi Alonso is leaving Real Madrid— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 21, 2014
Unless any club is willing to drastically overpay for Alonso's services, there simply isn't any scenario that could see the midfielder leave the club in 2014. As Real's most talented holding midfielder, Ancelotti has no reason to entertain the idea of a sale.
The Red Devils can dream of Alonso all they want—he's not going anywhere.