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9 Players Real Madrid Should Clear Out in Summer Transfer Window

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2016

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 28:  Toni Kroos of Real Madrid looks on during the Champions League final match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

The transfer rumours never sleep in Spain, and Real Madrid are almost certain to be busy over the summer, with Zinedine Zidane afforded a first opportunity to bring players in and shape the squad the way he wants, having not made any additions in January.

Of course, Real Madrid's incoming and outgoing deals are often concluded according to the whims of the club president and the commercial favourites of the current year, but having just won the UEFA Champions League for the second time in three seasons, there can be hope Florentino Perez learns the lessons of last time and makes alterations to fit the squad requirements this year.

Big, expensive signings naturally mean that departures also have to be part of the summer plan, both to raise funds and clear spaces in the squad. There are several at Real at present who can do both, bringing in decent fees to reinvest elsewhere, as well as a handful who simply don't offer the team enough to compete on two fronts, retaining their trophy in Europe and attempting to wrest La Liga away from Barcelona.

Full-backs

Alvaro Arbeloa will bring an end to seven years at Real Madrid this summer, moving on after the expiration of his contract. While he was nowhere near a first-team regular, playing just 500 minutes or so this season, he did offer cover on both sides of defence.

Even so it was clear, at 33 years of age, his most effective years were well behind him, and Real need better quality and athleticism than he could provide at full-back.

On the other hand, Danilo offers plenty of athleticism, but far too rarely shows any genuine quality in the defensive side of his game. A big-money signing from last summer, he has lost the support from the terraces due to a number of errors in big matches, his habit of losing the ball easily, being out of position and, perhaps above all else, for not being Dani Carvajal.

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 28:  Danilo of Real Madrid runs with the ball during the Champions League final match between Real Madrid and Club Atletico de Madrid at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 28, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)
Boris Streubel/Getty Images

It's perfectly clear to see why Danilo was signed.

Surging forward into space, when Real Madrid are attacking and dominant, he's the perfect overlapping machine to exploit gaps when Gareth Bale (or any other right-sided attacker) cuts infield, run at the opposition defence and deliver balls into the area. He claimed more goals and more assists than Carvajal did, but his weaknesses at the other end of the pitch mean he has little chance of winning back the faith from Zidane or the supporters and should be moved on for his own sake.

How much of the €30 million spent on him can Real hope to recoup? Perhaps half—if they can find a buyer at all. A loan might be the only option for the first year.

Toni Kroos

The most contentious on the list, no doubt, but there are plenty of reasons for Real Madrid to end their time with Toni Kroos in the centre of midfield.

His inability to sufficiently control and protect the team in a defensive capacity was exposed game after game in the first two-thirds of the 2015-16 season, eventually leading to a restructure and the inclusion of Casemiro on a regular basis. Playing slightly higher upfield, Kroos took on the role of Real's creative midfield general...except he didn't, really.

Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian forward Angel Di Maria (L) vies with Real Madrid's Brazilian midfielder Casimiro (C) and Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos (R) during the UEFA Champions League group stage football match Real Madrid CF vs Paris S
GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Luka Modric's all-action style encompasses both work rate and quality on the ball. He remains the most important player in Real's central triumvirate, while Kroos kept the ball moving, but without any huge, undeniable offensive threat to his game. For a player who at one point was one of Europe's best attacking midfielders, the move to the Bernabeu has only detracted from Kroos' game, not enhanced it.

He should search for a team where he can rediscover the immense talent and effectiveness he has outside of set pieces, while Real, if they are looking for a big, expensive new name, should target a powerful presence for midfield who can join up to the attack from deep as well as help maintain possession centrally.

Juventus have one of those, you know...

Loaned-out, unneeded

Real Madrid have six players out on loan who have no future at the club: three seniors and three younger, but not outright young, Castilla graduates.

Denis Cheryshev came back last summer after a productive loan at Villarreal and attempted to break his way into the team, but largely failed. Naturally, up against Cristiano Ronaldo for a left-wing spot, minutes were always going to be hard to come by, but his fate was sealed with the Copa del Rey farce that saw his team eliminated and the Russian international quickly loaned out again, this time to Valencia. A permanent move away is needed for a talented, goalscoring winger, who will be a success elsewhere but who will never really make it at Real.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 13:  Denis Cheryshev of Valencia celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and RCD Espanyol at Estadi de Mestalla on February 13, 2016 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelo
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Over in France's Ligue 1, Real have two seniors on loan: Lucas Silva, unwanted at Marseille, and Fabio Coentrao, injured at Monaco.

The former only featured in five of the last 15 Ligue 1 matches for OM, who hoped his loan spell would be cut short early for a move to Brazil—only for Silva to turn it down. Coentrao has no future as a Real left-back, but he should fetch a reasonable fee for a permanent move.

Midfielders Omar Mascarell and Alvaro Medran have found their level at lower-half La Liga teams and should be allowed to leave, while Burgui, a wide forward, certainly has enough about him to play for one of the better teams in La Liga, but he isn't consistent enough to make the breakthrough at Real. All three are 22 or 23.

Isco or James?

That's the nine Real should be actively looking to offload, but there's a case for a 10th: Isco or James Rodriguez.

Different perspectives on what is important for next season will determine which, if either, should be kept or moved on, but both have given enough reasons to deserve to be sold from Real Madrid.

Real Madrid's midfielder Isco (R) celebrates a goal with Real Madrid's Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez during the Spanish league football match Getafe CF vs Real Madrid CF at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium in Getafe on April 16, 2016. / AFP / GER
GERARD JULIEN/Getty Images

Isco's attitude and contempt for the club and his coach earlier in the season was absurd, not to mention the lack of consistency in his performances when he clearly thought he should be a regular in the team. Simply put, he didn't warrant being in the team and did very little after Zidane arrived.

James has similarly struggled, earlier in the season with fitness and later with not finding a role, but when given the chance to start, he has generally put in good displays and had end product to his game. He's also the better all-round player, therefore the best bet to keep—but would also fetch the highest fee in the transfer market.

Real can keep both, particularly if the others on the list are offloaded, but the players themselves want more regular game time and in the interests of dressing-room harmony, something Zidane has worked hard to restore, a departure (or two) may be the best outcome.

Either way, there's plenty of work ahead for Real over summer, and that's without considering who will be the new-name galactico to join.

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