Real Madrid Transfers: 8 Potential January Signings for Los Blancos
Real Madrid at the moment are in fine form, scoring goals at will and winning games by significant margins. They've won their last five games in all competitions and have kept clean sheets in three out of five of those games, an impressive feat for a defense full of attacking players.
Still, Jose Mourinho will be wary of the fact that the season is still young and that he must always be prepared to keep the march to silverware strong even if setbacks domestically or in Europe do arise.
As such, in the event that Mourinho does dip into the January transfer market for a couple reinforcements, we here at Bleacher Report will look at some of the current transfer rumors linking players to Real Madrid, and determine the feasibility and desirability of such transfers taking place.
Robin Van Persie
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According to Daily Mail, Real Madrid are expected to make a "£30million mega-offer" for Robin van Persie this January. With RvP's reluctance to sign a new contract at Arsenal, it is reportedly Jose Mourinho's hope that this huge offer will be enough to convince Arsene Wenger to part with his star striker.
While it is true that van Persie has refused to sign a new contract with Arsenal just yet, there is not a single scenario in which I can imagine that Wenger would agree to sell RvP this January.
Already, the Dutchman has carried Arsenal to victory in multiple games and is one of the few Arsenal players who actually looks in good form this season. Despite their reputations, Andrei Arshavin, Gervinho and Theo Walcott have all failed to impress on the flanks on either side of RvP.
Were Wenger to sell his captain, there is not a doubt in my mind that Arsenal would plummet down the standings, possibly even dropping out of the top 10 due to poor team morale.
The sale of RvP would really be the dagger to the hearts of the Arsenal players as well as the fans, who've already had to see world-class players like Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leave this summer.
For these reasons, even if Real Madrid's interest is real, I can't see this transfer happening.
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According to The Guardian, Real Madrid are expected to sign Carlos Tevez in January. The article warns, however, that transfer fee and personal wages may be two issues that prevent a deal from materializing.
There is a well-known saying that goes "beggars can't be choosers," and it definitely applies to Carlos Tevez and Manchester City here. If City think they'll get anywhere near £30-£40 million for Carlos Tevez this January, they need to stop dreaming and smell the coffee.
With Tevez frozen out of the team and expected to get little first-team action between now and January, I'd be surprised if he netted City £15-£20 million come January.
The same deal applies to Tevez' personal wages. The guy makes a fortune, and if I were a general manager, there's no way I'd pay him that much. Therefore, if Tevez can find himself a club that'll agree to pay him even half the wages he earned at Manchester City, I think he'd be stupid not to jump at the chance.
In terms of the desirability of bring Tevez to Real, I think he could be of some use, but he'd definitely be third choice and thus be limited in exactly how useful he could actually be. Still, he'd surely make a number of appearances, especially in the FA Cup and in lower-end La Liga matches most likely.
His role would be very similar to that of Adebayor's last year, and if I'm Carlos Tevez, I'd be very happy with that kind of role and game time.
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For some reason, the world's best strikers continue to be linked with Real Madrid, even though practically all of them would be third choice at best behind the resurgent Gonzalo Higuain and well-liked (by Mourinho) Karim Bezema.
According to Crunch Sports, Neymar is one of the many strikers linked with a January move to Real Madrid. The Brazilian international was reportedly heavily pursued by Real Madrid and a number of other clubs this summer, but turned down all moves until the conclusion of the Club World Cup this December.
Neymar earns a slightly higher desirability rating here than the previous two strikers on this list since he is capable of playing in positions other than striker and adds a creativity that is hard to find in many other players when the ball is at his feet.
His transfer is also very feasible, but of course that doesn't mean it wouldn't be pricey. Neymar is reportedly still only for sale by activating £40million release clause, but it remains to be seen if Real Madrid are willing to pay such a high price for a third-choice striker.
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According to Tribal Football, Gary Cahill is being tracked by Real Madrid and could be the subject of a bid from the Spanish giants in January.
While Cahill is a great defender, this move just doesn't seem right for either him or Real. Cahill has yet to move to a big club in England, and honestly I can say a move to stay in the EPL is probably the smartest move for Cahill at this point in his career.
Furthermore, Real Madrid has a reputation for "eating up" Englishmen. Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Owen arguably both failed to play at the level required of them in La Liga, and found limited playing time, while Steve McManaman and David Beckham also found themselves under-appreciated and limited in game time at Madrid.
With Raphael Varane and Raul Albiol fighting for playing time behind Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe, and Sergio Ramos capable of playing at center back as well, I can't say I'm very supportive of Madrid moving to sign Cahill.
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According to Metro, Real Madrid are preparing a bid for Lille winger Eden Hazard. The Belgian has been a star at Lille since 2008 and has improved impressively from season to season, so much that some believe he can get up to Lionel Messi's level in his career.
In the Metro report, Lille's asking price of £25 million is reported to be a deterrent preventing Real Madrid from signing the winger, due to Financial Fair Play restricting the extravagance of the club in the transfer market.
Do Real Madrid need Eden Hazard? No, they don't; they currently have Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria as two very capable wingers, and behind them Jose Callejon can perform well as a winger as well.
But with Real Madrid, it's never an issue of whether they need a player, its an issue of whether they want (or should want) a player. And with Eden Hazard, the answer to that question is most definitely yes.
Eden Hazard is arguably the most talented 20-year-old in the world today. His development and skills at his age are remarkable, and many would say he's already established himself as the best player in the French league.
And Real Madrid aren't exactly deep in the winger positions. Yes, they have Ronaldo and Di Maria, and Altintop and Callejon behind them, but neither Altintop nor Callejon exactly scream "quality" or "world-class." Eden Hazard, on the other hand, does.
Finally, Eden Hazard's price tag of £25 million is a bargain in this day and age, especially given his massive upside and potential. In an era where strikers of any quality cost upward of £30 million, £25 million is an excellent deal that Real Madrid would be wise to jump on as soon as possible.
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Just as I said that Eden Hazard is probably the most talented 20-year-old in world football, I would venture to say that Mario Gotze is the most talented 19-year-old in world football.
According to Goal.com, the mother of all rumor creators, Mario Gotze said the following when asked about how he felt about interest from Real Madrid:
I am very content where I am, but you never know what will happen. Sahin also came from this club’s youth system and now? He plays at Santiago Bernabeu.
Playing with Ozil and Khedira for Germany is a dream for me because they are Real Madrid players. It is quite special to play with them.
Though Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke would move to quash rumors of Gotze moving to Real Madrid by saying that the German international is not for sale, there is no doubt that Gotze himself appears interested in a move and would probably push for one if Real Madrid were to make a bid.
Furthermore, with the sale of Nuri Sahin last season to Real Madrid, Dortmund have, in a way, shown that they are still very much a selling club and would not be able to turn down an offer for Gotze if it were lucrative enough.
However, it must be said that despite his massive talent, Mario Gotze does not really fit at Madrid, at least not at his primary position, where he has Kaka and Mesut Ozil ahead of him in the pecking order.
He would however be useful as a right winger, and could even get games in central midfield alongside Nuri Sahin or Xabi Alonso.
Probably the least known name on this list, Carlos Casemiro is reportedly being chased by Real Madrid and a number of other clubs.
As I've stated on numerous occasions, defensive midfielder, Casemiro's position, continues to be one of Real Madrid's weakest positions. Sami Khedira and Lassana Diarra continue to perform poorly there for Madrid. Although Coentrao has performed well, defensive midfielder is not his natural position.
As such, Casemiro could be exactly what Real Madrid need alongside Xabi Alonso, or Nuri Sahin when he returns from injury.
The one obstacle is that it seems that the Brazilian's price tag has shot up since making his debut for the Brazilian national team. Estimates say that he is unlikely to leave for less than €25 million, which is a pretty massive sum for a player who's only made 43 appearances for his parent club (Sao Paolo) in two seasons.
If Real Madrid are interested and negotiate a fee closer to €10 million, then this be a good player for Real Madrid to bring in. Otherwise, it'd probably be smarter for Real Madrid to stick with Coentrao and his backups.