As the aforementioned news about Barca being forced into cuts to their scouting department shows, the Covid-19 crisis is set to have a profound impact on football. Real, like Barca will not be immune and Los Blancos may have to face up to the idea of no summer transfer arrivals in the Spanish capital. No new Galatico, no elaborate new signing presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, this situation may not necessarily be a bad thing for Real. Firstly, the aforementioned emergence of young stars both in Real’s first team and out on loan. Vinicius and Valverde look set to continue to improve throughout 2020/21. There is scope for Rodrygo to achieve a similar breakthrough on the right flank in 2020/21 just like Vinicius has achieved on the left flank in 2019/20.
Secondly, Real already possess a bloated squad with several unwanted senior players such as right back Alvaro Odriozola, the aforementioned Bale, Dani Ceballos and James Rodriguez. Priority should be to move on some of these unwanted players this summer. In a market likely to be affected by the Covid-19 crisis, Real may not get big transfer fees. However, getting their wages off the payroll is of equal importance.
Valencia are reportedly looking to sign Ceballos at present. It is likely both Odriozola, currently on loan at Bayern Munich and Rodriguez will be offered to clubs for free. Rodriguez is reportedly looking for a move to Real’s city rivals Atletico.
Finally, not spending a penny this summer will help build up cash reserves for arguably the most important parts of Real’s squad which need attention in the summer of 2021. Three experienced players still currently playing at a high level in Real’s first team squad could need long-term replacements by 2021, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Claudio Casemiro.
One thinks back to last summer in the English Premier League when Chelsea were given a transfer ban by FIFA. Whilst preferring to have been able to sign players last summer, accepting a transition period and blooding their talented young players has been to Chelsea’s long-term benefit. Crucially, it also allowed owner Roman Abramovich to save funds. Savings which have secured the transfers of in-demand stars such as Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner for 2020/21.
Real and Zidane with a possible title under their belt for 2019/20 could follow Chelsea’s example. A decision which could then give them more funds in 2021 to prioritise long-term replacements for three of the most important players in the club’s history. Whilst Werner and Ziyech will cost Chelsea considerable sums in both wages and transfer fees, their arrival is offset by the exit of two of Chelsea’s highest earning players, Pedro and Willian.
Come 2021, Real will find themselves in a similar situation, a high-earner in Luka Modric who then aged 35 will be off contract and it is unlikely to get a renewal. If Real is unable to sell James Rodriguez this summer, his contract expires in 2021 and his wages will come off the payroll then. Ramos’ contract also expires in 2021, he will then be 35, should he opt to stay at the club for one more season, he will likely have to accept much lower salary terms. Not spending this summer would be further aided come 2021 by significant wages freed up from high-earner departures and/or lower wage new contracts
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