Angel di Maria, Isco

How done of a deal is James Rodriguez moving to Real Madrid depends on the source you get your news from, but it seems to be something that can be stopped. However, it will also mean that just like last season, the expensive and grandiose arrival of a star will force someone out of the team. Angel di Maria or Isco seem like prime candidates.

Why them? First of all, the same rumors that keep suggesting Rodriguez will be officially signed for €80 million or something along those lines very soon also claim Real Madrid need to recoup some of that money via sale. Last season, Mesut Ozil left as he wasn’t very happy with his standing on the team after Gareth Bale and Isco arrived. The young Spaniard had a so-so affair at the Santiago Bernabeu, and might find himself playing somewhere else.

But Di Maria, who had a good World Cup until an injury took him out of the semifinal and final, is the hotter name right now. Where? While Rodriguez is leaving one French club, Monaco, Di Maria seems to be headed towards PSG. There is a suggestion the French champions are trying to make it a loan deal with the £50 million or whatever it is they’ll pay for Di Maria coming next season in order to go around those “annoying” Financial Fair Play regulations, but Real Madrid need the money now to balance their books after the arrival of Rodriguez.

Who isn’t in danger? Karim Benzema, who looked good for France, at least in the group stage. Alvaro Morata being sold to Juventus means there’s less competition for his starting striker role, as he survived the “usurping” of Gonzalo Higuain, finding himself in Italy, and now Morata, who was something of the Prince That was Promised for Real Madrid fans, gone before he had a real chance to find himself starting regularly for the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, obviously. The two most expensive footballers in history. Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or. With Jose Mourinho gone and Alex Ferguson not on the sidelines at the Old Trafford, no one is going to threaten his stay in Madrid. The same goes for Gareth Bale, who had a very strong second half to last season, but needs to show his abilities for an entire campaign, hopefully having a full preseason behind him when he takes the pitch for Real Madrid this time.

It’s always business at Real Madrid, above everything. Even a legend like Raul left eventually. Iker Casillas has barely been playing for over a year despite the managers switching. Loyalty and sentimentality don’t reside here. It’s arguable whether they have the right formula for success, and especially if its efficient, despite the Champions League title. However, it is certain that Rodriguez’ arrival also calls for at least one major player to leave.

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