It will be a very different Real Madrid next season. After coach Zinedine Zidane left in May and star player Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Juventus last week, this is a time for transition at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Having led Los Blancos to three consecutive Champions League crowns, Zidane announced his exit in late May and he has been replaced by former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who was removed from that role after Madrid made the announcement days before the World Cup.
Lopetegui has already made his first signing, with Spain right-back Alvaro Odriozola brought in from Real Sociedad earlier this month for a fee of around €35 million and unveiled by the European champions on Wednesday.
In that event, club president Florentino Perez promised that more “magnificent players” would follow the 22-year-old in the remainder of the transfer window as Los Blancos look to reshape their squad for the new season.
Finding a Ronaldo replacement will be the toughest task of all. The Portuguese was the mainstay of Real’s forward line for nine seasons and netted an incredible 450 goals in 438 games for Los Blancos.
That will be the priority for the Spanish side this month, with several names in the frame. However, Los Blancos are also looking at strengthening elsewhere after a season which brought a 13th European Cup but disappointment in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Madrid finished third in the Primera Division last term, way behind rivals Barcelona, while they were knocked out of the cup competition by Leganes. They will need to improve in the domestic competitions, whatever they achieve in Europe.
Here, Goal takes a look at the club’s transfer targets for the remainder of the window…
NEYMAR | FORWARD | PSG
Neymar has been a long-time target for Florentino, the Madrid president twice having tried to bring in the Brazilian forward in the past.
The first of those was in 2005, when the youngster had a trial at Real as part of Robinho’s move from Santos, but opted to return to his homeland instead of joining Los Blancos. And on the second occasion, Perez missed out to Barcelona when Neymar signed for the Catalan club and not Madrid in 2013.
However, his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain last summer opened up the possibility of a third opportunity to sign Neymar and although Madrid have publicly denied they will move for the Brazilian, the 26-year-old is one of their top targets to replace Ronaldo.
KYLIAN MBAPPE | FORWARD | PSG
Kylian Mbappe is another top target and, as with Neymar, Real Madrid have publicly denied they will be signing the young France forward, part of the French side which won the World Cup in Russia last Sunday.
The 19-year-old was available last summer, but signed for Paris Saint-Germain as Real were unable to put together a package to bring in the talented teenager from Monaco.
A year on, however, Ronaldo is off the wage bill at the Santiago Bernabeu and a replacement is needed. Madrid, despite denials, are keen on the youngster. PSG are even less likely to play ball over Mbappe, though, than they are with Neymar.
EDEN HAZARD | ATTACKING MIDFIELDER | CHELSEA
Eden Hazard could be the ideal alternative to both Neymar and Mbappe, which both look like difficult deals for Real Madrid this summer.
The Belgium attacker admitted after his side’s win over England, which saw them finish third at the World Cup, that his time at Chelsea may be up after six seasons in London and, asked where he might go, said: “You all know where I would want to play.”
That was a clear hint that he sees himself at Real Madrid if he ends up leaving Chelsea and at 27, now looks like the right time. However, the Blues would not let him leave on the cheap – especially after his excellent World Cup.
HARRY KANE | STRIKER | TOTTENHAM
Harry Kane finished as top scorer at the World Cup with six goals for England and the Tottenham striker has interested Real Madrid for some time now.
With Karim Benzema the only senior centre-forward at the club and Ronaldo now at Juventus, Los Blancos need a player who will bring goals and also a new number ‘9’ – at least as back-up to the France forward.
However, Kane has just signed a new long-term contract with Spurs and the 24-year-old wrote in an emotional Players’ Tribune article that he dreams of winning trophies in the club’s new stadium, which is inaugurated in September. There is no way he will be moving this summer.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI | STRIKER | BAYERN MUNICH
Real Madrid have tracked Robert Lewandowski for a number of years and the Poland striker could be a viable option as Los Blancos seek to bring in a striker this summer.
Again, a move would not be easy as Bayern Munich do not want to sell, the German champions stating that their player is not available after his agent hinted at a possible move in May, when he said: “Robert feels he needs a new challenge.”
Lewandowski is 30 in August and his age could deter Madrid, although there are not many top-class centre-forwards around these days and he is still under consideration.
THIBAUT COURTOIS | GOALKEEPER | CHELSEA
Real Madrid are keen to bring in a goalkeeper this summer as an upgrade to current first-choice Keylor Navas, but will only sign one if the right player becomes available and that looks to be the case with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgium shot-stopper is keen to move back to Madrid, where he played for Atletico for a number of seasons, because his former partner and two children still live in the Spanish capital.
Courtois is only 26 and given that he is out of contract in 2019, his fee should not be too high – possibly in the region of £35 million (€40m). All of that means this is one transfer Real Madrid should be able complete with relative ease.
THIAGO ALCANTARA | MIDFIELDER | BAYERN MUNICH
New Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui is a big admirer of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, having worked with the Spanish international during his time with La Roja. And Real are keeping tabs on the former Barca player.
Thiago, who is 27, is wanted by Barca as well and the Catalans’ need currently looks greater than Madrid’s after Andres Iniesta and Paulinho both left the Camp Nou this summer.
With Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Isco, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio all at Real and Lopetegui set to play 4-3-3, a move for Thiago is not top of Madrid’s list this summer, but they may follow up their interest if the player does decide to leave Bayern.