Real Madrid Transfer Rumours: 10 Players Who Will Be Gone by Next Season
In his first year at the helm, manager Jose Mourinho led Real Madrid to a second place finish in La Liga, the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey title. However, the season was a big disappointment in many respects.
Real may have come second in the league but they did lose to rivals Barcelona. It was a similar story in the Champions League, where they lost 3-1 to Barca in the semis. During the league season, they were routed at the Nou Camp, 5-0.
As Mourinho looks to rebuild and reload his team for next year, we look at some players who might not be back at the Bernabeu in 2011/2012.
The Brazilian's career in Madrid has been plagued by injuries; he has played just 39 games for the club since his record-breaking £56 million transfer in 2009. Now he has been linked to both Inter and his former club AC Milan.
While the former is unlikely, the latter could hold some truth, though Real would be keen to recoup more of their initial outlay.
After playing for both Arsenal and Chelsea, Lassana Diarra could be on his way to the third of England's three biggest clubs this summer. Sir Alex Ferguson was reported in the Metro to be interested in bringing the 26-year-old back to the Premier League.
Park Ji-Sung could be on his way out of Old Trafford and Diarra is seen as a possible replacement, though Man U could have to fight Juventus for his services.
Karim Benzema to Arsenal has been spoken about at length. The biggest reason is that he does not really have a place at Real. He played little early in his Madrid career but saw more action after Gonzalo Higuain went down with an injury.
If he is still with the club next year, he will have to compete with a healthy-again Higuain and either of the players linked with a move to Real–Neymar and Sergio Aguero.
Arsenal are keen to rebuild their attack and Benzema would make a lot of sense.
He was quoted as saying: "Boca Juniors is where I grew up and is like my second home. I know everybody at the club and really feel at home there. It is not easy for me that I am all alone here in Europe and I am eager to return to Argentina."
Gago has never really been a regular starter at Real Madrid and a move is likely.
Arbeloa was inconsistent for much of the past season and drew a lot of criticism for his performances at times. With Real linked to Benfica's Fabio Coentrao, the former Liverpool man might get pushed to the sidelines and consider moving on.
There have been numerous reports of Sergio Ramos leaving Real Madrid and a variety of different destinations have been mentioned for the Spanish right back.
Arsenal, Manchester City and Inter have all been spoken of as clubs who would potentially be interested in Ramos but wherever he goes, he won't be playing for Real next season.
It seems that everyone is being linked with a move to Manchester City this offseason. Likewise Cristiano Ronaldo, as reported in The Guardian, amongst other places. While it would almost certainly never happen that former Manchester United star Ronaldo would move to Eastlands, it is possible that he could be lured away by another big club if the offer were right.
Enzo Zidane, son of legendary French midfielder Zinedine Zidane, is already being talked about very highly at the age of just 16. Enzo is, like his father, an attacking midfielder and is regarded as a potential star in the making, even if he is never able to emulate his father's brilliance.
With the likes of Manchester United and Juventus after his services, as reported in the Mirror, and with Real's midfield already fairly competitive, it makes sense for both parties that the youngster move on to a club where he will have a better chance of developing as a player.
Givemefootball.com has said that Spanish newspaper AS has reported Manchester United could be in the hunt for 18-year-old striker Alvaro Morata.
Morata netted 15 times in just 28 appearances for B-side Castilla and is a promising frontman. With Man U boss Sir Alex Ferguson known for his willingness to give young players a shot, a move to Old Trafford makes sense.
The Daily Mail reported earlier this month that Sergio Canales had been given the go-ahead to seek employment elsewhere and leave the club. Amongst his potential suitors are Arsenal and, naturally, Manchester City.