Real Madrid Transfer Speculation: 7 Moves Los Blancos Would Love To Make
La Liga play is set to begin this weekend and Real Madrid would love nothing more than to improve through transfers before the transfer window is closed.
Los Blancos have made significant signings this preseason, signing players such as defender Fabio Coentrao, striker Jose Callejon and midfielders Hamit Altintop and Nuri Suhin.
Arch-rivals Barcelona have also lit up the transfer market news with the acquisitions of Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. Barcelona is coming off their third consecutive Liga championship, making the need for improvement that much more important for Madrid.
Here are the moves Real Madrid would love to make before setting out to dethrone La Blaugrana.
7. Sell Kaka
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We'll begin by looking at the players Real Madrid would do best to part with this season.
Kaka's stint with Los Blancos has been littered with injury and underperformance and where Kaka has struggled, Mesut Özil has thrived. The addition of Nuri Sahin creates a surplus at the attacking midfield position making Kaka's place on the team more of a bench role.
Although he is a quality midfielder with outstanding talent, Kaka may not be the answer when it comes to a starting 11 looking to overcome Barcelona and the rest of La Liga competition.
6. Sell Gago
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Fernando Gago made only four appearances for Madrid last season.
Like Kaka, Gago has been plagued with injury, playing fewer than five league games twice in the past three seasons.
Jose Mourinho is said to prefer Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira in the defensive midfield positions making Gago, again like Kaka, excess at the position.
Then there's the issue of Gago telling ESPN that Barcelona is the best team in history.
5. Sell Leon
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Manager Jose Mourinho had this to say about Pedro Leon at the beginning of last season:
"I don't have to justify Pedro Leon's absence from the squad list."
"You talk of Pedro Leon as if he was [Diego] Maradona or [Zinedine] Zidane, but only last month he was playing for Getafe. He will play whenever he works like I want him to, and it will be more difficult for him to play when he doesn't."
Early this year, Leon was involved in an altercation with Fernando Gago during a training session.
These are the two biggest stories involving Leon, on or off the field. No need to keep this player around when trying to win La Liga.
4. Sign Michael Essien
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Although a major long shot, Michael Essien would be a fantastic addition to Madrid.
At the time of his signing at Chelsea in 2005, Essien was the highest transfer fee in Chelsea history. His play with the club has by far proven his worth and Mourinho, a former Chelsea manager, would love to once again have him on his squad.
A proven midfield defender with extraordinary box-to-box play and superb passing ability, the high-endurance athlete would be an important defensive option against La Liga's best offenses, especially Barcelona.
3. Sign Javier Pastore
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Argentinian Javier Pastore is one of the most promising young attacking midfielders around the world.
In 69 appearances with Italian Serie A club Palermo, Pastore had 14 goals and 10 assists, becoming one of the main factors for Palermo's success and qualifying for the Europa League.
If Madrid were to sign Pastore, he would serve as a partner and/or substitute for Özil.
2. Sign Sandro Ranieri
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This year's Supercopa proved there are two major factors going into the fight for Liga supremacy between Real Madrid and Barcelona. One: Madrid's offense can match Barcelona's. Two: Barcelona is lacking on defense, which isn't getting any better without Puyol and now Pique.
Sandro Ranieri, a Brazilian defensive midfielder currently playing for Tottenham, could provide additional defensive strength. Sandro has proved he is a quality defensive midfielder for the Spurs, and with the possibility of Lassana Diarra leaving Madrid, Mourinho needs another defender to fill the void.
With the defensive holes caused by injury in Barcelona, a healthy and productive defense in Madrid will complete the team and give Los Blancos an even better chance of lifting La Liga's trophy at season's end.
1. Sign Neymar
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The prize of the transfer market this year is the 19-year-old Brazilian striker Neymar of Santos FC.
The world's top clubs are virtually all vying to sign the young striker, but Real Madrid is said to be his top choice.
Neymar scored 35 goals in 61 appearances last season, and through 30 appearances this year he has scored 21 goals.
There is no other signing Real Madrid and Mourinho want more than Neymar.