Real Madrid have won their 34th La Liga crown thanks to a very huge squad, but they could trim down going into the 2020/21 campaign.
Real Madrid were crowned La Liga champions on Thursday after they got the better of Villarreal in a close encounter. Karim Benzema scored a brace as the Whites capped off a memorable season. While the Frenchman is in the race to finish as the top scorer in Spain’s top flight, there are several players who have underperformed.
Florentino Perez confirmed that the club has taken a big hit as a result of the coronavirus in terms of finances and big signings, including that of Kylian Mbappe will be pushed forward. While the club’s president remained coy on the fact that some players might leave, it’s inevitable considering Zinedine Zidane has not used everyone as much as they’d like.
Calcio Mercato has now reported that Los Blancos are expecting several players to leave for the Serie A with numerous sides rebuilding to compete with Juventus. Inter Milan had kept close to the eventual Serie A champions, but a busy run of fixtures saw Antonio Conte’s men drop points. AC Milan, Napoli and Roma can do much better, but they would require changes.
Milan, who have benefitted from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return and are now chasing a Europa League spot would like to land two players from the newly crowned Spanish champions’ roster. Luka Jovic, who has largely been a second fiddle to Benzema will leave in all likelihood and could be followed until the San Siro by Brahim Diaz.
Jovic has been outperformed by the Madrid ace and has scored just twice in La Liga all season. The Serbian was brought into the Spanish capital for 60 million euros in 2019, but his failure in justifying a lofty price tag has cost him. He may join the Rossoneri with a potential buyback clause in his deal.
On the other hand, former Manchester City superstar Brahim Diaz has also not managed to win over Zinedine Zidane. The French gaffer has shown a lot of faith in the youngsters but the 20-year-old isn’t one of them. Regardless of his lack of minutes this season, there is belief that he’ll be e future star and will only be sent out on loan.
Napoli meanwhile, are looking to sign Lucas Vazquez. Rodrygo Goes emerging as a great player has meant that the Spaniard’s chances at the Bernabeu have been numbered. He has played as a makeshift right-back, but if Zizou holds onto Alvaro Odriozola next season, then Vazquez may see a drop in his playing time because Marco Asensio will be fully fit too.
Tottenham Hotspur were keen on signing him, but nothing developed out of the story. However, Napoli see him as a replacement for Jose Callejon who is now 33. Moreover, his multidimensional gameplay, positioning and work-rate will be an asset for Gennaro Gattuso who expects each and every player of his to be an overall product.
Roma have shown interest in signing Nacho Fernandez and Mariano Diaz. The former has been at Real Madrid all his life but never really managed to be a starter on a regular basis. Nacho, now aged 30, may want to end his career playing regularly and that’s something he can certainly do in the Italian capital.
Mariano Diaz is in a similar situation and was never given any chances despite checking in from Olympique Lyon two years ago. The Dominican has shown lovely athleticism and passion, but it has never been enough to ensure him frequent minutes. Edin Dzeko may leave Roma at the end of the season and Mariano may enter to fill-in.
Finally, it’s Juventus who are wanting to do business with Real Madrid once again having signed Cristiano Ronaldo from them in 2018. Maurizio Sarri’s side requires some huge changes to win the UEFA Champions League and compete against rebuilding Serie A sides, so having already signed Arthur Melo, they’re looking for more in Spain.
Marcelo and James Rodriguez are the two players who could make the switch. The left-back has been outdone by Ferland Mendy this season and with his contract expiring in 2022, Marcelo may want to taste success in another league with a very good friend of his. James has been told by Zidane to leave and Jorge Mendes has offered him to Juve.
While quite a few transfers make sense, Real Madrid and their boss in particular would make a massive mistake by offloading fringe players. Madrid did it in 2017/18 after a highly successful 2016/17 campaign. A deep squad has been their biggest asset and going against that principle saw them lose the league by a huge margin in May 2018.
Zidane has to hold onto Jovic, who himself is being very patient. Similarly, Nacho and Vazquez, who are more than happy to go out of the way for their club shouldn’t be shown the door either. Marcelo too is no short of a legend and will accept Mendy’s dominance, so he must be held onto. Brahim, Mariano and James can leave as they’re anyway used sparingly.
Image Credits- Real Madrid Twitter.