A strange thing this summer, so far – Barcelona have made more news than Real Madrid in the transfer market – Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Giuseppe Rossi and now even Javier Pasotre. Real Madrid, despite not close to signing anyone as Barcelona are, still have their sites on quite a few players, with certain degrees of truth attributed to each transfer –
Neymar – Before the Copa America begins and just after winning the Copa Libertadores with Santos, Neymar’s days in the Brazilian league look like a thing of the past. Real aren’t the only ones chasing him, but they seem to be in the lead for his talents. However… Neymar has stated he wants to win the World Club Cup with Santos… in December. Santos also announced that they won’t the full 45 million of Neymar’s release clause.
Michael Essien – Pretty fresh reports from Ghana are indicating that Essien might join the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and AC Milan. Apparantly, he’s keen on a move to Germany.
True or false? Hard to tell. Just yesterday it seemed Sergio Ramos was linked to half the clubs in Europe, reportedly unhappy with the way Real are treating him and his contract. His agent said today that anything reported about Ramos’ being displeased is false.
Soulymane Coulibaly – The 16 year old Ivorian striker, marked as the ‘New Didier Drogba’ with an impressive U-17 World Cup performance so far, is on Real Madrid’s sights.
Javier Pastore – The hottest name in recent weeks, as the Argentinian playmaker seems to be contacted and linked to every major club in Europe. In recent days it seemed Chelsea were closest to him but Real have been on the prowl for a while now. Barcelona have also joined the talked and even PSG are willing to pay the 50 million Euro price tag.
Sergio Aguero – The Atletico Madrid striker probably wants to wear the Real white, but Atletico aren’t letting him leave to their biggest rivals. Juventus seem like the closest team to sign him.
Raphael Varane – Someone that has signed and will join Real very soon is Raphael Varane, the 18 year old Centre Back from Lens. He’s been called by Zidane as the “next Laurent Blanc”.
Moving away from the whole transfer business, Karim Benzema has made some comments today about next season and Real Madrid’s aspirations, clear to everyone – We are a great team, but we started last season with a new coach, with players and gradually had to fit everything together. Now we can continue with the same group and some reinforcements and I am convinced that we will be very competitive. We’re going to make it very difficult for Barca, I can assure you.
A second year without too many changed to the squad can’t be a bad thing for a club that has changed its face and squad quite rapidly since their last La Liga title in 2008. There’s always the notion the Mourinho’s second season with a club is better than the first, with Inter being the finest example on his resume. Can it work out in 2011-2012? Why not. Real have everything they need to beat Barcelona and overthrow their dictatorship over the League and Europe. Mourinho’s even staying rather quiet this summer so far, maybe an sign of good things to come.