After taking a sabbatical from football, legend Zinedine Zidane is back to right the ship at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. As you might know by now, Real Madrid announced on March 11 that they reached an agreement with Zidane for him to return as manager, following one of the worst spells in the club’s history.
Zidane’s return to the sideline only means Real Madrid will be taking things to another level as far as signing big time footballers. Make no mistake, Madrid has always been a magnet when it comes to high profile football players, but Zidane’s presence in that organization makes them a lot more attractive destination.
To start off, Real Madrid announced this Thursday that they had made their first signing for the summer: Brazilian center back Eder Militão, who plays in FC Porto. Militão arrived at the Portuguese team just last july, from São Paulo, but he has impressed by the ‘dragons’, making Los Blancos splash 50 million euros on him. The 22-year-old is able to play both in the center of defense and as a right back and has shown quality, especially in Champions League, where, on opposite to Real Madrid dropout, FC Porto is still competing.
Besides Militão, is it expected that Real Madrid makes much more big signings for the following season.Right now, there are already a handful of football superstars being linked to the Spanish giants, but the supporters will likely have to hold their horses until the transfer window opens. Nevertheless, some of these stars are already dropping fillers that they also would love to play for Zidane, who bumped up Real Madrid’s odds of winning next year’s Champions League title to 11/2.
So, here’s the potential top-5 target for Zidane and Real Madrid this summer.
DominicFifield of the Guardian reported that Eden Hazard is determined to join Real Madrid this summer. According to Fifield, Real Madrid has now formalized their pursuit of Hazard, who is projected to cost £100 million on the transfer market. Chelsea, who acquired Hazard for £32 million in 2012, offered the Belgian midfielder a salary increase of £300,000 a week, but the player is non-committal on the revamped contract.
The French football phenomenon is no doubt on top of Zidane’s wish list. Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, even suggests that Zidane’s influence as a Frenchman could have an impact in recruiting Mbappe. “Zidane’s French so maybe he could do something with Mbappe,” Perez told reporters.
Madrid targeting Mbappe makes all the sense in the world since the latter is the hottest commodity in the market. The young World Cup winner is just 20 years old and yet he already possesses the skills and poise to lead a team to greater heights. He’s very ripe to be the star of his own team and there’s no better team to do it than Madrid.
The Egyptian striker is one of the most prolific goal scorers in football the last two years, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Real Madrid pursues him this summer. Zidane always has a high level of respect for the Liverpool striker, whom they faced in last year’s UEFA Champions League finals. StillZidane claimed last year that he would not trade any of his players for Salah, overruling a possible transfer.However, after the stellar performances that Salah keeps delivering and the departure of Madrid’s star Cristiano Ronaldo, maybe Zidane has changed his mind…
Perez also mentioned that he would love to have Neymar along with his Paris Saint-Germain’s teammate Mbappe, if it’s possible. While it’s a tall order to sign two of the most lucrative players in the world, everybody knows that Real Madrid is financially capable to pull it off. Moreover, Real Madrid has been monitoring Neymar’s situation ever since he parted ways with rival Barcelona, so it won’t be surprising if Madrid is gunning for the moon with two big-time signings.
The French rally continues, as apparently, Zidane is targeting another World Cup winner aside from Mbappe. Paul Pogba, who is reportedly finding ways to make an exit from Manchester United, is on Zidane’s radar all along. Nonetheless, afterfinding himself struggling under former manager Jose Mourinho, the French midfielder has somehow recaptured his old form under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. So, does Pogba still wants to trade Old Trafford for the Bernabeu?