Santiago Bernabeu is rife with strong transfer rumors and new coach Rafa Benitez is intensely desirous of inducting new faces to change the team’s constitution. Such plans got a huge boost after their arch-rivals FC Barcelona lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy on Saturday at the expense of Italian club Juventus. Benitez has already released Russian winger Denis Cheryshev to Liverpool and one man, on whom he has fixed his attention, is the Argentinian star Alvaro Morata. The Argentine was in the youth ranks of Real Madrid and made great progress to play for the main side. Then last summer, he was allowed to leave for a transfer fee of €22 million. He became a real asset to Juventus in UEFA Champions League games and the high point came, when he scored in both legs of Juventus’ Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid. Benitez is also keen on sourcing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero as per reports in recent weeks at London, Manchester and Madrid. There are also two separate reports related to transfer speculations on striker Karim Benzema and mercurial striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Though the rumor factory is churning out such juicy stories, there are strong denials by Benzema’s agents. In case of Ronaldo, Paris Saint-Germain have been his long-time hunters and they have offered a whopping €125 million to bring the current Ballon d’Or winner to Paris.
Loss to Italian Club Juventus in both legs of the semifinal was perhaps one strong reason why Carlo Ancelotti had to leave Real Madrid. The sentiments at Santiago Bernabeu have been grim since then. And when they saw their rivals FC Barcelona lift the UEFA Champions League last Saturday, Real Madrid would have craved to come back on winner’s side from next season. They did win their 10th European Cup in 2014 but after that there have been no major successes. The new coach Rafa Benitez has a tough agenda on his hands as he begins to grapple with thorny issues in forging out an unbeatable combination. Benitez has already fired his first salvo in demonstrating that his appointment as Real Madrid coach is not a passive job. He has agreed to release Denis Cheryshev from Real Madrid. The Russian will cross over to Liverpool, who have been quite keen to have him for some time. As per reports, Benitez has sanctioned the sale of 24-year-old to his old club for £22million and Cheryshev could be a perfect replacement for Raheem Sterling.
Now one of Benitez’s priorities would be getting back ex-Madrid man Alvaro Morata, who nearly threatened to deny Barcelona in UEFA Champions League final on Saturday. In a side with no dearth of international stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, James Rodrigues, Javier Hernandez, Pepe, Sergio Ramos and many others, Alvaro missed field action several times. Bernabeu bosses therefore allowed him to go to Turin for a transfer fee of €22 million. Now they want him back. At the time of his transfer last summer, they shrewdly inserted a buy-back clause in the transfer agreement. That will allow them to sign back Morata for €30 million this summer and €35 million within a year. Benitez will most certainly revoke the buy-back arrangement and Morata could be playing as central striker for Real Madrid sooner than expected. The new Real coach is also keen to get Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero in the new combination. How far he will succeed in his efforts is anybody’s guess.
The future of Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema is also mired in doubt. As per football press, Benzema’s agent has met Manchester United officials about Benzema’s potential transfer to the Premier League giants but the agent, Karim Djaziri has been vehemently denying any such move. As per him, Benzema is happy at Real Madrid and he plans to retire from Bernabeu after finishing his contract. One never knows because, beginning of such stories and the denials thereof, are parts and parcels of transfer-talks.
After he opposed Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking, Real Madrid’s mercurial forward Cristiano Ronaldo caused some flutter at Bernabeu and there are reports that Paris Saint-Germain have resumed their long-standing efforts in trying to get the Portuguese star in their fold. Even the price tag of €125 million has been allowed to be quoted in public domain. This may not immediately happen since Ronaldo’s contract with Real Madrid is valid until 2018 and despite his utterances about Ancelotti, there are no serious suggestion about his parting ways with the Spanish Club.
For long, Real Madrid have been keen to get Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. This possibility has been enhanced by Iker Casillas’ relatively poor position for a couple of years now. United may not be willing to lose de Gea but with just a year remaining on the 24-year-old goalkeeper’s contract, United bosses may consider doing a deal on the Spaniard. Press reports from England suggest that de Gea himself has informed Manchester United about his intentions of joining Real Madrid and go back to the Spanish capital, where he played previously with Atletico. De Gea’s family and girlfriend are also based in Madrid and it would suit him better on that count as well.