If Real Madrid want to push through their ambitious plans to overhaul their squad this summer, they’re going to have to spend well over 500m euros.
Coach Zinedine Zidane has sat down with club chiefs, and together they have identified the five players – Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen, Tanguy Ndombélé and Luka Jovic – who they want to bring in, in addition to the already-signed Éder Militao. Madrid know that the costliest, and trickiest, of those purchases will be Pogba, 26, with reports in the UK media stating that Manchester United will demand around 150m euros for the Frenchman. Meanwhile, Chelsea want 112m euros for Hazard, 28, despite the Belgian being out of contract in 2020.
Eriksen’s Tottenham deal also expires in just over 12 months’ time, but although the North Londoners are thought to be out to bank more than 100m euros for the Denmark midfielder, Madrid are reluctant to go higher than 85m for a player not quite in the same bracket as Hazard. However, should Eriksen help Spurs overturn Ajax’s first-leg lead and, in the process, put himself in the global shop window that is the Champions League final, Los Blancos could be forced to up their valuation…
Finally, Lyon are believed to be after 80m euros for midfielder Nbombélé, 22, and as AS revealed last month, talks are at an advanced stage over the signing of 21-year-old striker Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt, in a deal expected to cost 60m euros.
Madrid set to spend more this summer than in past five years
Buying all five targets would therefore require a projected total outlay of 487m, to which the 50m already paid for Militao must be added. Almost 540m euros…Such an investment would outstrip the 453m Madrid have spent on 23 signings in the past five years, and to put together a transfer kitty large enough for such a spree, the 13-time European champions will have to turn to several sources of funds.
With around 150m euros already at their disposal – according to the club’s accounts – Madrid can also expect to raise cash from player sales (with the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodríguez and Mateo Kovacic earmarked for the exit) and a new deal with long-term kit suppliers Adidas, which is to be announced soon and is likely to bring in over 100m euros a year.
That still won’t be enough, though, and having already borrowed 575m to finance their stadium redevelopment (albeit they don’t have to start paying that back until 2022), Madrid are set to take out another loan to top up their transfer warchest.