The Top 20 Real Madrid Targets For The Summer
With the World Cup coming to an end, the summer transfer window will experience an exciting explosion or rumors, offers, and players changing jerseys. At Bleacher Report, we bring you the players most likely to join Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid. Read up!
1. Cesc Fábregas - Arsenal
Some say Mr. Fábregas has already accomplished all he could accomplish in London; some say if he were to leave England, his only real trip would be to his old home, Barcelona.
But then there are the ones who say Fábregas just wants to come back to Spain, and play surrounded by world class players.
In Barcelona he would have to fight to get in a squad with the best midfielders in the world; but in Real, he would truly be the mastermind of Los Blancos' attack. Mourinho is already hoping he will decide the latter option.
Maicon - Inter Milan
This summer has been a coming and going of offers and talks between Real Madrid and his new manager and the latter's previous club, but some are still hopeful to see the Brazilian right back in Madrid by the end of the World Cup.
Mourinho has left a spot for him in the squad, but either they close the deal soon enough, or the Special One will move on to other, slightly less talented options.
Keisuke Honda - CSKA Moscow
Even though Japan's World Cup participation was cut short in a dramatic fashion, on penalties by Paraguay on the round of 16, the Japanese side and his key player, Keisuke Honda, had a very notable summer.
Honda was the main reason why this team surprised everyone with beautiful games like the 4-1 trashing of Denmark in the last match of their group. Honda has shown an amazing skill with the ball, and several European teams are already looking to snatch him of the hands of the Russians.
Real Madrid is one of them, and for Los Blancos, the signing could be as beneficial on the pitch as well as for their marketing department, with Asia looking even more to buy into Real Madrid's merchandise.
Steven Gerrard - Liverpool
England and Liverpool's captain endured a very disappointing World Cup, with the team out within the first serious, challenging game, but the midfielder is still every bit as decisive with the ball.
With several changes in Liverpool's structure, Gerrard has been put on the list of players with an open door to bids. Real Madrid could see him re-join forces with Xabi Alonso, which could mean Mourinho's team would have one of the best midfield partnerships in Europe.
Bastian Schweinsteiger - Bayern Munich
Many thought Schweinsteiger was an overrated player all the way to this World Cup, but the German midfielder has shown otherwise with an amazing tournament full of speed, a wide range attacking skills, and the leadership he has already brought to Bayern.
Schweinsteiger is one of the multiple German national side names that has come up on Real Madrid list after the German's tournament.
Carlos Tevez - Manchester City
Speed, strength, heart, technique, powerful shot, aggressiveness...many aptitudes could be pegged to this fantastic Argentinean striker. Another could be the willingness to do anything to join the winning team, and that is something Real could give him.
With Manchester City involved in a transitional stage, and Ronaldo in Madrid to lure him into changing jerseys, Carlos might want to join La Liga and compete against Messi head to head.
Nemanja Vidic - Manchester United
Serbia's best defender in a long time is one of the most controversial rumors when it comes to Real Madrid's possible summer transfers—several Man U fans don't even like him to begin with. They call him slow, they say he does not make the right decision most of the time, and he is just a decent defender for a decent team, nothing less.
Vidic, if Real Madrid paid handsomely, could end up in the capital of Spain, but not without finding rejection from a portion of Los Blancos' fans. He would either turn into a good alternative to Albiol and Pepe, or into a version of Atletico's Perea.
Juan Manuel Vargas - Fiorentina
The Peruvian winger almost signed for Real two summers ago, but Fiorentina played smarter and instead of meeting and negotiating, made a 12 Million Euro bid, and brought him to Florence.
Vargas could finally land in Madrid, and his skills would be much appreciated for people like Higuain or Ronaldo. His crosses, skill with the ball and shots from wide range are well-known in Italy.
He is also famous for his ability to take free kicks, but a Portuguese player with the number 9 on his shirt might have something to say about Vargas proving this particular talent in Real.
Aleksandar Kolarov - Lazio
Kolarov has been called the next Mihajlovic, and Aleksandar does not reject the comparison, having switched his shirt number from 11 to 3 this season at Lazio, the former being the one Sinisa used to wear.
The powerful left back is one of many Real's objectives for that position, Coentrao being the other one. The fact that Lazio's president reportedly said he will not even sell Kolarov's shoes for the price Real Madrid had in mind makes the Portuguese signing a bit more probable.
Glen Johnson - Liverpool
This young right back has played both in Chelsea and Liverpool, and has been in an out of the national squad since he was 19. At age 25, he is in his prime, and Real Madrid might want to take advantage of his eagerness to win titles.
However, the fact that he has had a couple of rifts with Jose Mourinho when he used to be Chelsea's Special One could stop cold the interest of Los Blancos for this amazingly fast player.
Sami Khedira - VIB Stuttgart
At age 23, this German-Tunisian defensive midfielder has already won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart, appeared over 30 times and even as captain with his national side, and been one of the key players in Germany's third place in the World Cup.
With Mahamadou Diarra and Fernando Gago not yet having shown what they are capable of in Madrid, a very young but very skilled Khedira could be the answer to Mourinho's prayers.
Robin van Persie - Arsenal
Even though Robin did not have a great tournament, the Netherlands got to the final with a real possibility to clinch their first World Cup title after two lost finals. However, Spain had something to say about it, and van Persie, along with the rest of his team, was more concerned on stopping La Roja than playing his game.
Van Persie has reportedly said to want titles, and at age 27 and after six years in London, Real Madrid might be the answer. Los Blancos are interested, and if Benzema finds a way out of Real, the Dutchman might have his way in.
Mesut Özil - Werder Bremen
Does anyone believe this guy is actually 21 years old? Mesut has shown an amazing technique with the ball, and his vision when it comes to distribute it to the strikers had split defenses apart all the way to third place.
Özil is ment to leave Werder Bremen eventually, but whether he goes to England, where Manchester United has reportedly asked for a price, or Spain, where Real Madrid and even Barcelona are drooling for him, is up to the man.
Thomas Müller - Bayern Munich
The youngest Golden Boot since Pelé, with five goals, is at age 20 the hottest player in the world. He has amazed football fans with an excelent tournament, and made Louis van Gaal once again a genious by bringing him to the first squad last year, and renewing his contract only a few months ago all the way to 2013.
Muller is yet another one of the German prospects for which Real Madrid is interested, but the asking price of Bayenr Munich might prove a bit too high right now.
Ashley Cole - Chelsea
Considered the best left-back in the world at the moment, Ashley has proven himself an amazing asset for both Chelsea and England for several years. His experience when it comes to bringing the ball up without being to careless in the back is something very few left-backs in the world know how to do.
The only downside to the possible arrival of the Englishman to Madrid is his age; however, another left-back who was key in Madrid all the way until he was 34 might argue that 29 years of age is just fine.
David Luiz - Benfica
And we continue the left-back list with a player who could very well be the next brazilian on the defense of Real Madrid since Roberto Carlos. Luiz made his professional debut at 16 years of age with Esporte Club Vitoria, and after a brief loan to Benfica, the Portuguese powerhouse signed him for good.
Last year, at age 23, David started in 49 games for Benfica, and showed he is ready for a bigger stage. Real Madird might want to give him just that.
Fabio Coentrao - Benfica
Coentrao could play as a left-back or in left wing, giving Real Madrid several options to use one of the hottest prospects to come out of Portugal in a long time.
In one year he has gone from a nobody to being a starter for his team and Portugal, and winning the Portuguese League Breakthrough Player of the Year in Portugal. Mourinho likes him, something that comes as no surprise.
The only thing left is Florentino's money.
Daniele De Rossi - Roma
The 26-year-old midfielder has already been linked to Real Madrid over several summers, but with Mourinho arriving to the capital and well aware of the quality of the Italian play-maker, his arrival might be imminent.
After a disappointing World Cup and still no major titles with Roma, De Rossi might be finally willing to do what very few Italians do: leave the country.
Javi Martinez - Athletic Bilbao
What an amazing season this has been for young Martinez. At age 21, key midfielder for Athletic's excellent season, and brought all the way to South Africa as part of the winning team, leaving home legend Marcos Senna.
Martinez's loyalty to his team might be the only obstacle for Madrid to bring him aboard, but after winning the World Cup, he might like the feeling of titles a little too much to be persuaded to stay in Bilbao.
Paulo Henrique, "Ganso"
We end our list with an attacking midfielder of 20 years of age, who has just been named Rookie of the Year in Brazil. After being discovered by Barcelona's former striker Giovanni, he joined Santos at age 16.
Four years later, Ganso is a very dangerous attacking midfielder for his team, which won the Paulista tournament in 2010, and has already played for Brazil's U-20. They call him the next Zidane.