Real Madrid are expected to undergo some significant changes this summer after suffering elimination from the Champions League again, with manager Zinedine Zidane and winger Eden Hazard both facing uncertain futures.
A comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, which could have been significantly worse, means Real are left with just the La Liga title to play for. They remain behind Atletico Madrid in the standings and level on points with Barcelona, who are seen by many as favourites to go on and lift the trophy.
Real’s decline has been evident for a while now, with underwhelming results and a dressing room toxicity suggesting this group has run its course, and according to Marca, president Florentino Perez is preparing to make significant changes this summer, involving both his players and the coaching staff.
Beginning with Zidane, he has already spoken to Perez about the future, and while no final decision has been made, the president is hard at work studying alternatives.
Having missed out on Mauricio Pochettino, Julian Nagelsmann and even Jose Mourinho, Real have been forced to turn to other options. Free agents Joachim Low and Massimiliano Allegri are both mentioned as potential candidates, but the most logical option is to promote the legendary Raul Gonzalez from the academy.
Perez is also planning wholesale changes to the playing squad. The biggest casualty could be Hazard, who ‘no longer features in the future’ at the Bernabeu – a decision made based on poor performances and not the sight of him laughing after the Chelsea defeat which sent El Chiringuito into an outstanding meltdown.
Alongside Hazard, both Marcelo and Isco are being pushed towards the exit door, but all three sales are seen as ‘difficult’ because of the size of the trio’s mammoth contracts.
There are also plans to trim some of the deadwood from the loan army. Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, Brahim Diaz, Dani Ceballos are all up for sale, with Martin Odegaard likely to join them if Zidane remains in charge. Takefusa Kubo and Reinier Jesus will be given more time to prove themselves.
Real’s plans for the money they raise through sales are well-known. On top of finalising a move for Bayern Munich centre-back David Alaba, there are dreams of moving for both PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland – a double-swoop which would cost the best part of £300m.
Having sat out last summer’s transfer window, Real look like they’re about to make up for lost time with a hectic few months.
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