Real Madrid January Transfer Talk: 10 Players Jose Mourinho Might Fancy
It is once again that time of year, when the transfer window is wide open and rumors abound regarding each team's move in the tentative winter market.
Perhaps no team is more closely followed that Spanish giants Real Madrid, as their moves dictate which clubs need to buy, and often set prices for other players.
So, without further ado, here are 10 of the hottest rumors making the rounds lately surrounding the world's most successful and prestigious club.
Though Madrid certainly do not need another midfielder of Gotze's ability, Los Blancos have never exactly been a model of austerity.
Mario Gotze is an exceptional and rare talent who any team would absolutely love to acquire. Though he has been heavily linked with Arsenal, he has even stated that he would prefer to play for Madrid.
It is certainly an interesting rumor, but I have no idea where Suarez would fit into a team that already has Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
I also don't believe that Liverpool would unload their best player simply because he can't play for the next eight games.
Yet another young and astounding talent, Madrid would be forced to pay through the nose to get the Belgian to the Bernabeu, but that will not dissuade the Spaniards.
Hazard has it all: pace, creativity, flair and dribbling skill. He would truly be a world-class addition to an already spectacular squad.
Daniele De Rossi
With Sami Khedira set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines, soon-to-be-out-of-contract Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi would be quite an astute purchase.
De Rossi is combative, he is a real fighter and he can provide excellent cover in defensive midfield as one of the best at the position in the world for Roma.
Even as a neutral, the thought of Gareth Bale and Christiano Ronaldo speeding down both of Madrid's flanks is terrifying.
The Welsh wizard has been in extremely fine form for Spurs, and his combination of speed and power are almost unmatched.
Bale has seen the chains come off a bit this season at Tottenham, as he has excelled when allowed to roam more. Wherever he plays at Madrid, he can certainly shine.
Robin van Persie
Again, I struggle to see how van Persie would even fit into the Madrid bench, but Jose Mourinho might try to fit one of the most in-form players (if not the most in-form player) into his side somehow.
A player of van Persie's quality will always come up in links to Madrid, and with the Dutchman's contract situation highly in doubt, Mourinho may never see a better time to pounce than the present.
After rumored tensions with coach Massimiliano Allegri, it has been speculated that Alexandre Pato could be on the move to make way for Carlos Tevez.
Pato would be a fantastic addition to Mourinho's squad, as he possesses a lethal combination of power, pace and ruthless finishing in front of goal.
If he becomes available, I would not at all be surprised if Madrid pounced quickly.
If given the opportunity to acquire Wayne Rooney, one does not simply say no, and if the opportunity is presented to Jose Mourinho, he will find it quite difficult not to pull the trigger.
Somehow, some way, he will need to find a way to work Wayne Rooney into his team. The poor man.
Another option that Madrid could turn to in order to fill the gap left by the absence of Sami Khedira would be Alex Song of Arsenal.
Song has shown tremendous improvement and skill in attack this season, and he's probably the best defensive midfielder in the world on current form.
While his services would be difficult to acquire, Song does employ Darren Dein as his agent, and a particularly lucrative offer that Arsenal could not match might just be enough to lure him to Spain.
No, ladies and gentlemen, the Neymar rumors are not dead, and they never will be.
Regardless of how many new contracts the Brazilian youth might sign, he remains Madrid's top transfer target, and the player still retains a desire to play for Los Blancos in Spain.
For all the bloviating about how Neymar will stay in his home country until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, few actually expect such a prodigal talent to remain in a lower league for much longer when European glory awaits.
Exactly when a move will be made remains a mystery, but I would not be at all surprised if Real Madrid snaps Neymar up sooner rather than later.