Real Madrid have reportedly decided to invest in the winter transfer market after a meeting between some of the club's highest-ranking officials came to the conclusion new faces are required.
Madrid-based newspaper Marca (h/t Jack Wilson of the Daily Express) reported president Florentino Perez met with general director Jose Angel Sanchez for two-and-a-half hours before coming to the decision midseason reinforcements are needed.
Los Blancos are fourth in La Liga, eight points off leaders Barcelona, while the Spaniards are also set to finish second to Tottenham Hotspur in their UEFA Champions League group.
Of the talents mentioned who Real could look to invest in, Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga looks the most likely deal to be completed, which is backed up by Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague:
Sky Sports LaLiga @SkyRevista
.@GuillemBalague: "I’m hearing Real are interested in Icardi but don’t expect to get him now. Kepa is one that Real may have to put €20m down to get in January, despite him being available on a free in the summer." Full answer 👉 https://t.co/y0LSN6yPK5 #AskGuillem https://t.co/aWDgpzFMye
Real's attack in particular has suffered after Alvaro Morata was sold to Chelsea and James Rodriguez moved to Bayern Munich on loan after falling out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane.
This has led to rumours of investments being made in attack, and although Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi is mentioned as a target, the Italian club recently spoke out to dissuade any move for their star forward, per Goal:
Zidane also didn't fuel speculation over the January transfer market when asked in a press conference, per ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan:
In place of Morata and Rodriguez, Borja Mayoral was promoted from the Castilla academy and has had his chances off the bench this term, while summer signing Dani Ceballos hasn't quite hit the heights expected of him.
It also hasn't helped Los Merengues that Cristiano Ronaldo has been out of form and has two goals in 10 league appearances thus far, while other key attackers have been out injured, per Corrigan:
Marco Asensio's dip in form has also been poorly timed as far as Zidane is concerned, with the 21-year-old's first season as a potential starter in the lineup not reaping the benefits he might have expected.
As things stand, Kepa looks like the only near certainty to arrive at the Bernabeu in January, and that's more than partially due to the fact his existing contract is poised to expire in the summer.
Real may need to pounce on similar deals if they're to complete more purchases during the winter transfer window, with the club's hierarchy under pressure to bring about a drastic change in trajectory.