It is relatively well documented that Real Madrid need a new left back, a position that has not been adequatey filled since Roberto Carlos lost his form and left the club. Over the past few seasons since that happened the Spanish giants have tried to replace the legendary Brazilian left back with an assorted combination of players. Royston Drenthe, an expensive purchase, was tried at left back but he never quite had the experience to make the position his own. Alvaro Arbeloa was purchased from Liverpool for a relative pittance but the defender is an accomplished player with experience at a high level, even a member of Spain’s victorious squad over the past two years, but he could not quite cement the position and make it his own. Marcelo, another Brazilian, has often played in the position and is in fact the current incumbent but the fact that Real Madrid are still routinely linked with alternatives is an indication of how well he is faring. It is not so much the case that Marcelo is playing badly but rather that with world class players in every other position the club believe it necessary that a top quality left back, the envy of other clubs, is signed.
Manuel Vargas of Fiorentina and Ashley Cole of Chelsea have been linked with moves to Real Madrid over the past six months but nothing has materialised. In Ashley Cole’s case the move appeared likely because Jose Mourinho was his manager at Chelsea and it is believed that the player and coach remain close, despite working in different countries for the past few seasons. The move was not completed however and Real Madrid have since continued to be linked with other left backs. At one point it was suggested that Sergio Ramos might play there but moving one of the better right backs in the game to another position would hardly be the sensible thing to do, especially not for a manager as pragmatic as Jose Mourinho is. Now Real Madrid have been linked with Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur, although the Welshman typically plays on the left wing, rather than the left full back position, for Spurs. The winger scored a fine goal in the Champions League on Wednesday and has been in tremendous form for the best part of the last twelve months. Harry Redknapp, the Spurs coach, has told Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid to go look somewhere else for a left sided player if they should so decide that they still need one.