No Mbappe, no Haaland…Who can Real Madrid sign this summer?
Champions of Europe and Spain, Real Madrid might not need many new signings. But after missing out on both Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland this summer, president Florentino Perez will be desperate to make a splash in the transfer market and add to Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.
Madrid have been unusually cautious in the market over the past couple of years, with a change in policy targeting younger stars such as Rodrygo and Vinicius with the aim of developing them.
Yet a Galactico signing seems on the cards for Madrid – here are seven top names in the frame.
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool
Salah has suggested he will see out the final year of his contract at Anfield, but if Madrid were to make their move this summer the Egyptian superstar would have a big decision to make.
The right side of attack has been something of a problem position for Madrid – Fede Valverde has been filling in to good effect – so Salah would represent a massive upgrade for Los Blancos. Liverpool will be desperate to hold on to their prized asset but if Madrid decide they want Salah, it might be difficult to stop the transfer from happening – even if it ends up being next summer.
Salah spoke of being out for ‘revenge’ against Madrid in this year’s Champions League final after he was hurt by Sergio Ramos in the 2018 showpiece, but the defender has moved on.
Harry Kane – Tottenham
Madrid have the frontrunner for this year’s Ballon d’Or in attack, but at 34 Karim Benzema will not be around for ever and the club needs to think ahead about replacing the France forward.
Spurs striker Kane appears more settled at the club this year, with Antonio Conte leading them to Champions League qualification no doubt helping, and the England captain does not seem to be interested in a repeat of last summer, when he unsuccessfully tried to force a move away. Yet Madrid’s overtures would be hard to turn down, with Kane’s ability to drop deep as a number 10 meaning he could be paired with Benzema while being moulded as his eventual successor.
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
Few players in world football guarantee goals quite like Kane – but Lewandowski is one of them. Like Salah, the Poland international is heading into the last year of his contract. Lewandowski has made it clear he does not want to renew, so Bayern must cash in or lose him for nothing.
Barcelona appear to be at the front of the queue for Lewandowski’s signature. It would send quite the message were Madrid to pip their great rivals, though with the striker set to turn 34 in August it would be a short-term boost for Madrid’s attack rather than a long-term solution.
Sadio Mane – Liverpool
Bayern have been linked with Mane as a potential successor to Lewandowski, but could Madrid opt for the Senegal star instead of team-mate Salah?
Mane’s contract situation is similar to both Salah and Lewandowski, with just a year remaining on his deal at Anfield, and talks do not seem to have gone well.
The forward’s versatility would be a plus for Madrid. Mane usually plays off the left wing, where Vinicius has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign capped with the winner in Paris, yet Liverpool moved him into the middle during the second half of the season and he thrived, reaching 120 goals in 269 appearances for the Reds.
Rafael Leao – AC Milan
The Rossoneri won the Serie A title for the first time in more than a decade this season, but they face a struggle to hold on to one of their top talents with Madrid having been linked with Leao.
The 22-year-old hit 11 league goals as Milan claimed the Scudetto, but with just two years left on his contract at San Siro the club has been left in a vulnerable position. Leao has a release clause worth €150 million in his contract, but Milan would likely have to sell him for less.
Leao has said he is flattered to be linked with Madrid but it remains to be seen whether the newly crowned Champions League winners make a move for the Portugal attacker.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United
Pogba previously said it would be a “dream” to play for Madrid but the free agent appears to be on the brink of rejoining Juventus six years after he left the club to move to Old Trafford.
The future of Madrid’s midfield seems certain to be Pogba’s international team-mate Edoardo Camavinga, but with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric both in the twilight of their career more additions are going to be needed at the Bernabeu.
Pogba may be a cost effective solution on a free transfer, though he will command high wages.
Paulo Dybala – Juventus
Another free agent this summer, Dybala’s star has waned somewhat in recent times but it is not that long ago the Argentina attacker was touted as a potential future winner of the Ballon d’Or.
Dybala can play anywhere in attack and this versatility could make him an appealing option.