There was a time when Real Madrid could simply bide their time in the transfer market, safe in the knowledge that if needed, they could out-bid anyone and lure even the biggest of world stars away from even the very biggest of clubs. Over the years, Los Blancos have cherry-picked the top talent from Manchester United, Juventus and even Barcelona.
However there is now an acceptance, and there has been for a while, that this is a new era in European club football with a different financial climate to the one that preceded it. Real Madrid can no longer merely rely on their prestige and pockets to flex their muscles in the transfer market which is why when this summer finally ends, the early business they have done may look even smarter than it does right now.
Every Cloud has a Silver Lining
– Sergio Ramos gets deliberately carded so he would be available for selection in the quarter-finals.
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) March 5, 2019
There is a theory, mostly peddled by disgruntled Barcelona fans, that Real Madrid’s desperate season, which effectively ended in one miserable week as February rolled into March, was the wake-up call they needed to address flaws which had been evident for some time, even in their most recent Champions League triumph. Barça’s weaknesses meanwhile were again masked by another comfortable domestic title win, or so the theory goes.
There may be an element of truth to some of that, but the most striking benefit of Real Madrid’s season ending early was that it gave the club time to reflect and finalise their summer plans earlier than all of their major European rivals. It’s certainly no coincidence that Real Madrid have found themselves in a position where they’ve been signing players at a time when the likes of Juventus, Chelsea, and to some extent, Barcelona have been faced with the kind of managerial uncertainty that Real Madrid resolved in March.
Read more – Is this a Real Madrid season review?
Real Madrid Summer Signings (So Far)
- Eden Hazard – €100 million from Chelsea
- Luka Jovic – €60 million from Eintracht Frankfurt
- Éder Militão – €50 million from Porto
- Ferland Mendy – €48 million from Lyon
- Rodrygo – €45 million from Santos
Including the deal for Brazilian teenager Rodrygo, which was agreed last year but will go through this month, Real Madrid have already spent around €300 million on new players this summer. The true figure may be even greater with around a €50 million difference between Real Madrid and Chelsea’s reporting of the Eden Hazard deal.
The signings of Hazard, Jovic, Militão, Mendy and Rodrygo account for five of the seven most expensive confirmed transfers in the world so far this summer. The only non-Real Madrid signings amongst that list, are Bayern Munich’s €80 million capture of Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid and Barcelona’s €75 million purchase of Frenkie de Jong, both of which were agreed during the season.
The most Competitive Transfer Window ever?
Luka Jovic is unveiled as a Real Madrid player at the Bernabeu ⚪ pic.twitter.com/vBSiMPho6W
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 12, 2019
No member of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ has yet to finalise a deal for more than the reported initial £15 million that will see Daniel James join Manchester United from Swansea. However with money to burn, you can be sure it won’t be long before Premier League clubs begin to splash the cash with even mid-table sides in a position to compete for some of the brightest talents. Liverpool and Manchester City are coming from strong starting positions and are likely to look to add quality rather than quantity but Manchester United are clearly in need of a radical squad overhaul.
The same could be said of Bayern Munich who are hoping to revitalise what has become an ageing squad in recent years. Juventus and PSG are also still searching for the missing pieces that will propel them towards elusive Champions League glory and when the market finally fully swings into life, it promises to be one of the most competitive ever which is only likely to send prices heading in one direction.
Has Florentino outsmarted the rest of Europe?
There is only one president i know and his name is Don Florentino Perez. pic.twitter.com/zDNRUp2ZGn
— alicia (@asensional) June 12, 2019
It’s quite possible that some of the fees Real Madrid have paid will look considerably better value in two months time. World class talent and the very brightest young prospects are in short supply and it seems inevitable that some of Europe’s biggest clubs will ultimately be left having to settle for players some way down their list of targets. On the surface, jumping the gun to snap up players of the quality of Hazard, Jovic and Mendy is smart business.
Florentino Perez may be a divisive figure in the world of football and even amongst Real Madrid supporters, but he has been in the game a long time and he is a shrewd operator. Perez rarely responds to a crisis with half-measures and this year has certainly been no exception but this time there has been plenty of method in the madness.
His and the club’s next big challenge will be shifting some of the deadwood with the books surely in need of balancing before any further major dives into the transfer market with a move for Paul Pogba the latest to be muted.
Should they manage to find space in the budget for another ‘Galactico’, Real Madrid fans will have plenty to be enthused by heading into the new campaign. Even if they don’t, they will be in a stronger position to push for silverware than some of their European rivals who one way or another will end up paying the price for adopting a waiting game.
Article via Mark Sochon – Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter