Ranking Real Madrid’s Rumoured Attacking Targets by How Well They Would Fit in at the Bernabeu

With Zinedine Zidane back at the helm, Real Madrid can look forward to the summer with a bit more hope and optimism. The manager with the Midas touch has returned, and with it, memories of Champions League glories.

Suffice to say that this season has been a complete write-off for Los Blancos, with a humiliating exit in the Champions League to Ajax coupled with being completely off the pace in La Liga. But with Florentino Perez seemingly indicating that it is time for Madrid to bring back the ‘Galactico-level’ marquee signings, the summer transfer window could be one of the biggest in recent years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Below is a look at the numerous attacking targets linked with a move to Madrid, and subsequently ranked in order of how well they would fit in with the glitz and glamour of one of European football’s most successful clubs.


7) Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Harry Kane

Harry Kane at ?Real Madrid? It just doesn’t feel quite right does it? The England captain has been arguably the Premier League’s best striker in recent seasons, so he would unquestionably be confident of finding his goalscoring boots in Spain. But taking a step back, and trying to imagine the Tottenham star in the white of Los Blancos saying ‘Hala Madrid’ like former Spurs man Gareth Bale seems a bit more fantastical. 

The 25-year-old comes across as very humble and respectful, and for all of Madrid’s greatness, those two traits are particularly down the order. ?Kane is adored by the Spurs faithful, who proudly call him ‘one of our own’, and it is understandably difficult to see that kind of feeling being replicated at the Santiago Bernabeu.


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6) Sadio Mane (Liverpool) 

Sadio Mane

The ?Liverpool winger has enjoyed his best goalscoring season at Anfield, and delivered the moment of magic at the Allianz Arena to set the Reds on their way to a Champions League last 16 triumph over Bayern Munich. The Senegal international is blessed with blistering pace and quick feet, and would no doubt represent a real throwback to the counter-attacking days of a fully-firing Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Perhaps the one thing missing from Mane’s game is a consistency, and that may be one of the reasons why Madrid look elsewhere. The former Southampton star has a tendency of going on hot streaks in front of goal, before seeing his form fizzle out for a number of ?games. Consistency is one of the big criticisms of Bale, and it could well be with Mane at Madrid too.

Having recently signed a new deal at Liverpool, who are back among Europe’s elite, it would take a monumental effort to prise Mane away from Anfield too.


5) Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

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Perhaps the most technically gifted player on this list, ?Paulo Dybala has proven year in and year out in the Serie A to be one of the finest forwards in the game. The Argentine however has found himself flitting in and out of the team this season, what with the arrival of ?Cristiano Ronaldo, and has struggled to either displace the Portuguese star or Mario Mandzukic from the starting line-up.

Dybala has never really been the leading number nine, often dovetailing as either a second striker or as a more conventional no.10. Going by Madrid’s recent tactical preferences of a 4-3-3, it’s difficult to see the 25-year-old fitting in seamlessly, and would more than likely have to play from the right-hand side. 


4) Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

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The most prodigious young talent in world football, were Florentino Perez and the Real Madrid hierarchy able to lure Mbappe to Spain, it could prove to be one of the most decisive moments in European football this decade. At just 20-years-old, the Frenchman already has the world at his feet, and is surely a shoo-in for multiple Ballon d’Or awards in the future.

A move to Madrid seems inevitable for the France World Cup winner, but this summer may just be a step too early. In only his second full season at PSG, Mbappe still has the opportunity of learning and growing in the relatively smaller spotlight of Ligue 1. The striker has shown an incredible temperament since bursting onto the scene as a teenager with AS Monaco, and may by all estimates flourish at Madrid were he to move at the end of the season, but he may just fit in better with the demanding nature of the Bernabeu in the years to come, rather than anytime soon.?


3) Mauro Icardi (Inter)

Mauro Icardi

With reports suggesting Karim Benzema may finally leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season, Madrid will most definitely be on the look-out for a starting striker. And they could do worse than bringing in ?Mauro Icardi from ?Inter. The former Nerazzurri captain proved at San Siro that he could handle the expectations of being the side’s star man and saviour, and at Madrid, that experience could prove to be vital.

The Argentina international has been a prolific goal-scorer in his time in Italy, and won Serie A’s Footballer of the Year award last season. With all the off-the-pitch controversy surrounding his wife and agent Wanda Nara, Icardi just seems like the perfect fit for all the political tensions that often encompass Madrid. A match made in heaven. 


2) Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

Eden Hazard

A ?Premier League winner at Chelsea, Eden Hazard has been the cornerstone of the Blues’ success since his arrival from French side Lille. The Belgian superstar has had to virtually single-handedly carry Chelsea’s attack – particularly this season – and would no doubt relish the responsibility of being a key figure at Madrid.

However, if things do begin to go wrong, or the 28-year-old suffers a rough patch in form, would he be able to handle the pressure-cooker environment at the Bernabeu? The Belgium international is treated like a king at Stamford Bridge, but at Madrid, the fans are far more expectant, and with much shorter memories. If the Los Blancos faithful get on his back, could ?Hazard rise above it? It may be a difficult one to answer, but it is undeniable that he certainly has the footballing ability to do it, and that after all can be the most defining factor of them all.


1) Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

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Everything about this potential transfer just feels right. The fact that he played at ?Barcelona, and would then happily wear the white and gold of Madrid would just echo the poignant days of Luis Figo. Neymar (and his father) have made no secret of appreciating Los Blancos’ attempts to sign him, and in a potential £300m deal, would represent a world record transfer fee and symbolic return for Madrid as global superpowers in the market once more.

The Brazilian played second fiddle to Lionel Messi at the Camp Nou, but with Madrid, he would be expected to carry the burden of leading the post-Ronaldo era. And judging by his personality, and evident ego, that would be something he would relish. The 27-year-old could easily fit in to the left-hand side of a front three, and with no Messi or Mbappe to share the limelight with, would fancy his chances of finally getting a Ballon d’Or.?

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When & Where to Watch Chelsea’s Biggest Stars During the March International Break

To be frank, after Chelsea’s last performance, you probably don’t want to see their players any time soon. 

However, the international break provides an excellent opportunity for struggling stars to recapture their form, and March’s set of national team fixtures will (hopefully) allow the Blues boys to get back some much needed confidence.

?Here’s a look at when and where you can watch them in action…

*Dates and times all GMT; channel/live streams available in UK


Eden Hazard (Belgium?)

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The will-he-won’t-he transfer saga with Real Madrid continues to rumble on, but for now, Hazard will focus his attentions on Belgium’s opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and Cyprus.

The 28-year-old is likely to pick up his 100th cap for the national team in the second game, which is a mighty fine achievement.

Blues fans will just hope they get their talismanic forward back in one piece, as the battle for Champions League qualification heats up.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Belgium vs Russia 21st March 2019 @ 19.45 Sky Sports Mix; Now TV
Cyprus vs Belgium 24th March 2019 @ 19.45 Sky Sports Red Button

Callum Hudson-Odoi (England)?

Callum Hudson-Odoi

?Callum Hudson-Odoi, or ‘CHO’ as he now seems to have unimaginatively been nicknamed, can’t get a Premier League start for love nor money, but he has gone and bagged himself a first senior England call-up at the age of just 18.

Midfielder Ross Barkley is also in the Three Lions squad, ahead of Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively.

Gareth Southgate’s bold approach to select talented youngsters has gone down a treat so far, and his plucky side will be looking to open the campaign with a maximum six points.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
England vs Czech Republic 22nd March @ 19.45 ITV1/STV
Montenegro vs England 25th March @ 19.45 ITV1/STV

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spain)

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?Chelsea’s record signing has had a mixed first campaign with the club; showcasing dazzling reflex saves alongside many a near-post blunder. And that infamous Carabao Cup Final moment, of course.

Spain had a nightmare World Cup 2018 campaign, and frustrated in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, so they’ll be looking to bounce back with wins over Norway and Malta in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Perhaps due to the Blues’ struggles at the back this season, there’s no place for defender César Azpilicueta or Marcos Alonso in the squad. No Pedro, either…

Spain vs Norway 23rd March 2019 @ 19.45 Sky Sports Football; Now TV
Malta vs Spain 26th March 2019 @ 19.45 Sky Sports Football; Now TV

N’Golo Kanté (France)

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Despite being moved from his favoured holding midfield position, N’Golo Kanté has still shone for Chelsea this season, with his relentless stamina showing no signs of letting up.

The midfield dynamo will be in action for France, who take on Moldova on Friday, before hosting Iceland next Monday.

Oh, and Europa League super striker Olivier Giroud will be there too.

The 2018 World Cup winners will be looking to pick up where they left off, and are expected to power their way to Euro 2020 qualification with ease.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Moldova vs France 22nd March @ 19.45 Sky Sports Main Event/Football; Now TV
France vs Iceland 25th March @ 19.45 Sky Sports Main Event/Now TV

Jorginho (Italy)

Jorginho

Maurizio Sarri’s golden boy Jorginho still isn’t the most popular of figures at Stamford Bridge, but, should ‘Sarriball’ eventually get rolling (we live in hope), his quality will finally become clear.

The former Napoli man’s silky passing will be on show for Italy during the international break, as Roberto Mancini’s side look to respond from the disappointment of failing to qualify for the last World Cup.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Italy vs Finland 23rd March @ 19.45 Sky Sports Football/Now TV
Liechtenstein vs Italy 26th March @ 19.45 Sky Sports Football/Now TV

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Everton Promise ‘Robust Action’ as FA Launch Investigation Into Coins Thrown at Ross Barkley

?Everton have stated that they are prepared to issue severe punishments to any fan who is found guilty of throwing objects at Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley during Sunday’s 2-0 victory.

The 25-year-old, who graduated from the Toffees’ youth academy, drew frustration from many fans after opting to take a cut-price move to Stamford Bridge in January 2018. He was loudly booed during Sunday’s match, and a coin was also allegedly thrown at Barkley during the first half.

Ross Barkley

The Football Association have opened an investigation into the incident, and ?Everton, according to the ?Daily Mail, have vowed to take strong action against any guilty parties.

A club statement read: “We are investigating the alleged incident and reviewing footage. If anyone is found responsible for this or other such incidents, the club will take robust action.”

Until he was substituted after around 60 minutes of the game, ?Barkley was subject to incredibly vocal jeers and taunts by the Everton supporters, many of whom will not have forgotten about the circumstances of his departure from Goodison Park in 2018.

The England midfielder was close to completing a move away from the club in the summer of 2017, but pulled out of the deal at the last minute, instead preferring to evaluate his options as he recovered from a hamstring injury.

He did not appear for the club again, before completing a £15m move to ?Chelsea in January, which was far cheaper than the initial deal for Barkley in the previous summer.

The incident came just a matter of days after the FA, ?Premier League and EFL issued a joint statement condemning any crowd unrest, in the wake of the pitch invasions affecting both Jack Grealish and Chris Smalling.

Jack Grealish

On the ?EFL website, they wrote: “English football has worked hard over many years to ensure that our grounds are safe places. Everyone involved in staging a game deserves to enjoy the highest safety standards and we are determined to prevent these standards from being undermined.

“The FA, Premier League and EFL wholeheartedly promote the Football Supporters’ Federation’s “passion not poison” call to respect opposition Clubs and fans. We encourage all supporters to carefully consider their behaviour, not only at this weekend’s Premier League, EFL and FA Cup matches, but at all games in the future.”

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Tammy Abraham Reveals Desire to Break Into Chelsea First Team Next Season

Chelsea loanee striker Tammy Abraham has revealed his desire to play for his parent club next season, after three consecutive loan spells at Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa. 

In his latest surroundings, Abraham has an impressive 21 goals in 31 Championship games this season, making him the division’s joint-third leading scorer as Villa fight for a place in the play-offs.

Tammy Abraham,Jeremy Morel

And, after a loan move back to the ?Premier League with Wolverhampton Wanderers fell apart in January, the Englishman has stressed his desire to return to playing in the top tier with his parent club in west London.

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Speaking to ?Sky Sports, Abraham admitted: “That’s the aim going into next season. As a young kid, I’ve always believed I will play for Chelsea. I always believe that.

“I think I have the ability to. I just have to, when I get the opportunity, grab it with two hands.”

He also opened up about his relationship with fellow Blues youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi, who received his first call-up to the England senior squad this week, having received copious amounts of attention since the club rejected a £35m bid from Bayern Munich in January.


The 21-year-old revealed: “He was always coming into my house, we didn’t really play together because he was a bit too young but he was my brother’s age. They’re good mates.”

With ?Chelsea’s appeal against their two-window transfer ban recently denied, there may be a space for these academy graduates to carve out a spot in the starting XI come the 2019/20 season. As Abraham says, they will just have to grab the opportunity with both hands when it comes.

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Chelsea Handed Transfer Lifeline as FIFA Prepare to Review Appeal Before Summer Window Opens

?Chelsea look set to receive a lifeline in their pursuit of postponing their one-year transfer ban, after reports claimed FIFA will review their appeal of the decision before the summer transfer window opens.

Back in February, the Blues were given the sanction after being found guilty of breaching both article 18 and 19 of FIFA’s rulebook, when recruiting young players over the past few seasons. The Blues’ initial appeal was denied, which saw them go back to the drawing board to plan their next move.

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According to the Daily Mail, FIFA will consider the west Londoners’ latest appeal before the next transfer window opens. Additionally, the club could look to gain an interim ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, if their appeal to FIFA doesn’t work out. Clearly, then, there is still hope for the ?Blues, who could arguably do with a radical squad overhaul in the summer.

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge, current manger Maurizio Sarri has struggled to get his current crop of players to adhere to his footballing philosophy, and the side have found themselves in a dogfight to regain Champions League football for next season. The club will be eager to change their fortunes, and strengthening their side will be imperative to this aim.

Arguably, the Blues could do with at least two new defenders and a top quality striker, but this dream will have to remain just that if the club are unable to postpone their ban. Alternatively, if the ban isn’t lifted, the club may look to use their wealth of reserve options, or the ‘Loan Army’, and take a more youth-focused approach to football next season.

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In other news, ?Chelsea talisman Eden Hazard has claimed his sole focus is on the club’s remaining games this season, despite fresh rumours linking the Belgian with a move to ?Real Madrid. Los Blancos were said to have had an €83m bid turned down by the Blues on Monday, but a bid in excess of €115m could be enough to persuade the club to finally sell.

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