Transfer Watch – Real Madrid

- Vikas Shashidhar

There’s an air of silence surrounding Real Madrid’s transfers this summer. There haven’t been too many activities going on in the White House as many would have expected, after another trophy-less season. There are several possibilities for that – have Real Madrid run out of cash? Is Florentino Perez too busy with his Civil Engineering constructions to focus on constructing a team that can challenge in Europe? Or are Real Madrid out of options for finding more Galacticos?

The answer to all the above questions is probably…  wait, definitely…  NO.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04:  Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid football club attends 'El Mundo' newspaper 20th anniversary dinner at the Palace Hotel on November 4, 2009 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Florentino Perez has changed into a thinking man.

Because, it seems someone has finally ‘incepted’ the idea of common sense into Florentino Perez’s mind; we have had less transfers (more precisely, necessary ones) this summer than I can remember for quite some time now. In other words, we’re finally seeing some stability and continuation in the squad. Also, the positives one can draw so far is that the management has made the required transfers – players who are necessary on the field and not off it. Let’s have a look at the players who will/could don the famous white shirt and play their first Classicos next season, as well as the unlucky chaps who are rumoured or certain to leave the White House.

Confirmed Player Transfers

Arrivals : Sergio Canales, Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon

1. Sergio Canales: Not many heard about this kid, until he shone for Racing in December, January and February last season. From nowhere, he grabbed all the attention in the world, and many clubs were after his signature. But he ultimately ended at where he describes as his dream destination; that’s become a cliche now. At five million Euros, he’s a bargain buy. The lad has a load of potential, and he can learn a lot from Kaka, Ronaldo, Alonso and other senior outfield players.

Transfer Value: A+. Still untested at a big club, but Real would never mind splashing five million on a Spanish nineteen-year-old, who has the potential to make it big at both club and country level.

2. Pedro Leon: He has earned his arrival at the Bernabeau, after consistently performing for Getafe for some time now. For once, one of Getafe’s players are coming to us, and not the other way round, a common occurrence in recent years. Pedro plays as a right winger and is very effective. He’s a good crosser of the ball, something no Real player, apart from Ramos, is capable of; at twenty three years of age, he’s a future prospect. He will most definitely act as a backup to CR9 and Di Maria.

Transfer Value: A+. He is going to be very useful for Real Madrid. Ten million Euros – is he worth it? Some fans would like to believe so.

3. Angel Di Maria: One cant help but think that he’s a little hyped up by the media; it would have been preferable to see Silva wearing the Real crest on his chest, but Florentino Perez had different ideas. However, there are many football fans who believe that Di Maria is fantastic, so judgment will be  reserved till he plies his trade on the field; his performances in the WC did not impress much. However, he will give Real the much needed width on the left hand side in the final third, an area where Real were struggling following Robinho’s departure. At least he is  a proper winger who can play on the left hand side, unlike Robben, who preferred to play in the right.

TORONTO - JULY 19:  Angel Di Maria #18 of Argentina celebrates scoring the first goal against Chile during their semi-final game at the Fifa U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 at the National Soccer Stadium July 19, 2007 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)Angel Di Maria – Will he be the next Gento?

Transfer Value: B. Twenty five million Euros is expensive, given that he’s not tested in a big team in a competitive league. His detractors wouldn’t mind if he proved them wrong, though. The transfer merits a ‘B’, because he’s still twenty two years old, and has plenty of time to prove his worth.

Summary: A. Three young players at an average age of 21 bought at a total price of 40mn euro is fantastic business overall.

Departures: Christoph Metzelder, Raul Gonzalez, Jose Maria Gutierrez

1. Christoph Metzelder: Galacticos fans had high hopes on him, when he signed for the club back in 2007. Unfortunately, he liked the injury table more than the soft Bernabeu turf. Goodbye, and good luck Metz.

Will Real miss him? – No. Not at all.

2. Raul: A whole article will be needed to give him a farewell. After fifteen beautiful years with Real, he’s leaving. He will be back soon though, to help the Los Blancos gain more glory, as a coach or whatever role he gets at the club. Good luck captain, and hope you score more goals in the Champions League! ADIOS CAPTAIN!

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 10:  Raul Gonzalez of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's second goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valladolid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on February 10, 2008 in Madrid, Spain  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The silent truth – El Siete will not play for Real anymore

Will Real miss him? – On the pitch, sometimes, yes. In the dressing room and training, definitely yes.

3. Guti: He’s been at the club for twenty four years, yet fans feel that they have seen so little of him; that sums up this mad genius. He could have given his old club so much more, but he didn’t as all fans know. Anyway, good luck Guti for your endeavours in Turkey, and rnjoy the rest of your playing years. ADIOS GUTI!

Will Real miss him? – On the pitch, sometimes. In the dressing room and training, no.

Summary: All the three left on a free transfer, so there’s not much to talk about it. Raul and Guti were never going to be sold, so they were allowed to leave on a free transfer. Metzelder would’ve got us between one-three million. But that really doesn’t matter to a club like Real, and his contract had run out as well.

Transfer Rumors

Now, the rumors. There are so many of these, from Steven Gerrard, De Rossi and Lampard coming in , to Benzema, Kaka and Diarra leaving. Only the ones that make sense and are likely to happen, if the European media is to be believed, will be listed below.

Arrivals: Douglas Maicon, Ashley Cole, Ricardo Carvalho/David Luiz.

1. Maicon: He is most definitely on his way to the Bernabeu. The saga started when Jose Mourinho signed for Real. Many of Mourinho’s former players were rumored to join him at Real, including Milito and even Sneijder, but this deal looks the most likely to happen. He is very similar to Ramos, but has more experience in his pocket.

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Maicon can add more firepower to Los Blancos

Transfer Value: B. Twenty eight million plus bonuses is a little too much. Agreed he is a valuable asset,  but since Real already have a very similar player who is much younger, they should be wary of spending so much on him. However, if Mourinho has his way, Maicon will be wearing the white shirt soon.

Transfer Possibility: Very High. We can expect news from both the clubs in a week or so.

2. Ashley Cole: A world-class left back, who does his defensive and offensive duties seamlessly. Real lack an experienced left back, which is also the weak link for the side. Cole can add a lot to the team, and there’s also the prospect of a menacing full back partnership if Maicon comes too, reminiscent of the years of Carlos and Salgado. Personally though, it would be preferable to see Marcelo develop in that role.

Transfer Value: B-. Chelsea are reportedly valuing him at a massive twenty eight million, rather exorbitant for a twenty nine year old full back. A deal in the range of eighteen to twenty two million will be arguably agreeable. He can serve the club for three or four years and depart.

Transfer Possibility: Glum. Only a lucrative offer from Perez can lure him and Chelsea into agreeing a deal. The chances look bleak, especially if Ancelotti is determined to hold on to him.

3. Carvalho/Luiz: Either of them will be a valuable addition. Since Metzelder has left us, we’ll be needing one more defender along with Garay in case one of Pepe/Albiol/Ramos are injured. Carvalho, if bought, will start along with Pepe. David Luiz is a future prospect and will start from the bench. But he’ll have a lot give, since he’s only twenty three. However, it seems inconceivable that Benefica will let another of their stars  leave for Real.

Transfer Value: A. Both will come at a low price, and Madrista faithfuls wouldn’t mind seeing either of them at the Bernabeu.

Transfer Possibility: Dependent on other transfers, which makes things difficult to predict. It all narrows down to the Maicon deal. If he signs, Ramos will be moved to the centre to partner Pepe. If not, either of Luiz or Ricardo may sign for us.

Other Notable Mentions: Chiellini, Gerrard, Khedira, Navas.

Summary: Real will sign Maicon and maybe will try a last ditch offer to sign Cole.

Departures: Diarra, Lass, Gago.

1. Mahamadou Diarra: He has been under-appreciated so much at Real. He was the sole reason the  team were so good defensively in 2007-2008, conceding just thirty two goals. But after his horrific knee injury, he has been neglected. Given a chance to be Real’s coach, one would play him alongside Alonso. This will give the latter more freedom to go forward, considering his penchant for  scoring wonder goals along with dictating the tempo of the game, like he did for Spain in South Africa.

Valued At: Ten to fifteen million. He only has a year left on his contract. Juventus were rumored to be interested in him.

Probability of Leaving: A. Considering the tough competition in the squad for that position and his contract lasting only one more year, Real might want to make some cash. However, if Mourinho wants to retain an ‘Essien’-like tough player, he might stay.

2. Lass: What a signing he was, after he joined Real in January 2009. Many thought the twenty odd million spent on him was excessive, but he played extremely well in the remaining part of that season and proved them all wrong. However, he has now fallen out of favor, owing mainly to his inconsistency and the inability to perform in big matches.

Valued At: Twenty to twenty five million. There were rumors that Manchester United were interested in buying him. But all these hearsay deals have not materialized.

Probability of Leaving: A-. It’s difficult to say who exactly are leaving the Casablanca this summer. I think Lass might want to leave since there are so many players competing for his position in the team. It also depends whether Diarra/Gago will leave.

3. Gago: He almost signed for City in January, but the deal collapsed due to City being not organized enough to make a transfer. That was what Valdano had told back then. There aren’t many rumors surrounding him, and he seems to have regained his confidence under Mourinho, at least in training.

Valued At: Fifteen to twenty million. He’s a bright talent, but if any club were to offer Real in the range mentioned, they will let him go.

Probability of Leaving: B-. Since there haven’t been many rumors of his exit, he’s likely to stay and fight for first team opportunities.

Other Notable Mentions: Drenthe, Benzema, Van Der Vaart, Kaka.

Summary: Diarra will definitely leave. He’ll not have too many first team opportunities. Milan are reportedly interested in buying him. Fans should wait and see if Lass will be sold as well.

Castilla Player Transfers

1. Marcos Alonso has left to Bolton for an undisclosed fee. Real reportedly have included a buy-back clause in his three year contract with Bolton.

2. Promising young full back Daniel Opare leaves to Standard Liege.

3. Pedro Mosquera moves to Getafe.

4. Marcos Tébar has left for Girona FC.

Contract Extensions

1. Marcelo signed a five year contract, which will keep him at Real until 2015.

2. Higuain signed an extension after much delay to let him continue his wonderful form for at least until 2016 for a reported 3.5 million per season.

3. Dudek has extended his contract by one more year.

To conclude, the Los Blancos faithful will hope their club makes the right transfers in the remaining one month or so. All Real needs is a good full back or a good centre back. Also, they need to offload a few players.

HALA MADRID!

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