A look at possible galactico signing under Zinedine Zidane.
Zinedine Zidane has had a record-breaking spell as Real Madrid manager in his two years in charge of Los Blancos. The team has won staggering 8 trophies in just two years under the guidance of the French manager.
Appointed to replace Rafael Benitez after the Spaniard mediocre start to his reign at Santiago Bernabeu, Zizou has exceeded expectation by making history by guiding Real Madrid to back to back Champions League glory- Los Blancos being the first team to retain the trophy in the Champions League era.
Zidane and his extraordinary Real Madrid side became the first team in UEFA Champions League history to reach three consecutive finals when they brushed aside a determined Bayern Munich side in the semifinals. Los Blancos will face Liverpool in a mouth-watering clash in Kyiv, Ukraine on 26th this month.
Zidane reign as a Real Madrid manager has not been characterized by Florentino Perez’s galactico policy of signing at least one superstar in every summer. On the contrary, the four players that have been signed during Zidane tenure have been little-known youngsters who are yet to reach the pinnacle of their careers, they include; Vinicius Junior, Theo Hernandez, Alvaro Morata and Dani Ceballos.
However, with important first team players like Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric all ageing as they are above 30 years old it’s now the perfect time for Real Madrid to make the first galactico signing under Zinedine Zidane to rejuvenate their ageing squad.
Here is a look at 5 superstars who could be targeted by Florentino Perez to be the first galactico signing under Zizou’s reign at Santiago Bernabeu.
#5 Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba is one of the best central midfielders in Europe. The French midfielder left Manchester United to join Juventus on a free transfer as a youngster after a falling-out with legendary manager Sir. Alex Ferguson.
Pogba developed into a complete player at Juventus playing alongside Italian midfield artist Andrea Pirlo and Chilean midfield maestro Arturo Vidal. He lifted 8 trophies in his four years at Juventus before sealing a sensational return to Manchester United on a mammoth £89 Million deal becoming Jose Mourinho’s third signing as a Manchester United manager.
Paul Pogba helped Manchester United to UEFA Europa League glory where the Red Devils downed a youthful Ajax in the finals where he scored the opening goal. The French midfielder Europa League exploits led him to be crowned the player of the tournament.
Pogba has been in impressive form for Manchester United this season being involved in 19 goals for the Red Devils with 7 goals and 11 assists. He has been more impressive than Real Madrid current central midfield with Casemiro being the closest as he has been involved in 9 goals for the Los Blancos;-6 goals and 3 assists.
However, the French superstar has had problems with Jose Mourinho and has been in and out of the starting eleven a situation that could stir a summer move away from Old Trafford. This present a perfect opportunity for Real Madrid to pounce and Zinedine Zidane would welcome the addition of his counterpart to the midfield ranks at Santiago Bernabeu.
#4 Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has developed into a world-class player after joining Chelsea as a little-known youngster from French side Lille for a reported transfer fee of £32 Million in 2012.
The Belgian has lightened up the Premier League during his 6 years at Chelsea with his amazing talent, mesmerizing dribbling, pace and finishing ability. He has been influential for the Blues claiming 4 trophies including two Premier League trophies and one Europa League trophy. Hazard was named the best player in the Premier League in the 2014-2015 season after starring for Chelsea in their title-winning season.
The little Belgian has scored impressive 69 goals and set up 39 assists in 205 appearances for the Blues and has been linked with a move to the Bernabeu for quite some time. Both Hazard and Zidane have a mutual admiration as the Belgian described the French manager as his footballing idol while Zidane also revealed his admiration of the Belgian superstar.
With Chelsea’s Champions League qualification in jeopardy as they sit 5th in the Premier League table, Real Madrid could easily lure Eden Hazard away from Stamford Bridge with Champions League football being a bargaining chip. Eden Hazard would bring more attacking flair to Real Madrid play a component that has been missing for Zidane’s side this season.
#3 David de Gea
David de Gea is probably the best goalkeeper in the world right now and best players play for Real Madrid. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to the Los Blancos on several occasions and had a failed transfer to Bernabeu on the deadline day last summer.
After a shaky start to life at Manchester United, De Gea has been consistent for the Red Devils since linking up with them as a youngster in 2011 from Atletico Madrid. The Spaniard has ruled the English Premier League being in the PFA team of the year in 5 seasons out of seven seasons in the English top flight. He has claimed the gong in four consecutive seasons as well as scooping the prestigious Manchester United Sir. Matt Busby Player of the year for a record four times.
De Gea has proved his quality as a top-class goalkeeper during his time at Manchester United with quick reflexes and amazing saves. David has kept Manchester United in matches by keeping opponents at bay and is the reason Manchester United secured a Champions League qualification this season. The Spaniard has kept 17 clean sheets this season as compared to 6 clean sheets by Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas.
With Keylor Navas 32 years old, the Costarican goalkeeper form is diminishing, therefore, it’s a perfect time for the Los Blancos to add the Spaniard goalkeeper to their ranks to break Barcelona La Liga dominance as the stats clearly show that De Gea is now supreme to the ageing custodian.
#2 Mohamed Salah
Salah had an ill-fated spell with Chelsea before he was shipped to Serie-A side AS Roma via a loan spell with Fiorentina. Signed for just £35 Million from AS Roma in summer, Salah’s transfer looks to be the bargain of the century.
The ‘Egyptian King’ has taken Premier League by storm in his second spell now with Liverpool as he leads the goal-scoring chart with 31 goals 4 ahead of last season golden boot’s winner Harry Kane. Salah has notched further 9 assists and will be looking to claim his first Premier League golden boots with three matches to go.
Mo Salah has been the most prolific player in Europe this season with 43 goals in all competitions alongside Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo who has notched 42 goals this season.
Salah has been sensational for Liverpool in their Champions League too as he has scored 10 goals plus further 4 assists on their road to the finals where he will face his potential future employers Real Madrid in Kyiv later this month. With uncertainty surrounding Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid, Moh Salah is a tailor-made replacement for the Welsh wizard as they both possess same devastating pace but the Egyptian is in the form of his life as he has scored 43 goals as compared to a paltry 16 goals by the Welshman.
Being that Salah is in his first season at Liverpool, pricing away from the Reds would take a mammoth transfer fee considering how important he is to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool style of play. But considering how influential Salah has been in Liverpool extra-ordinary run in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid can be willing to pay for his services.
#1 Neymar Jr.
This list would not have been complete without the world most expensive player. The Brazilian superstar shocked world football last summer when he decided to ditch Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee reported to be £198 Million.
Neymar has lit French Ligue 1 with his amazing dribbling skills, trickery, amazing ball control and play-making ability. His creativity, vision, passing and finishing techniques have seen him score 28 goals and provide 16 assists in just 30 appearances in all competitions for PSG.
Despite only joining PSG last summer, Neymar has already been linked with a move away from Parc de Princes to Real Madrid. The Brazilian was not happy with PSG’s Champions League in the last 16 against Real Madrid.
With Cristiano Ronaldo turning 34 next year, Neymar Jr. is well-equipped to step up and fill the void of the Portuguese as the Brazilian had a previous spell in the La Liga where he scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for Barcelona.