In wake of Real Madrid hiring the bombastic Jose Mourinho to replace Manuel Pellegrini as the new head coach of the side, rumors have recently run rampant about what the club will do in the off-season.
Real Madrid, never a team to go about things quietly, made quite the splash prior to the 2009/2010 campaign, signing world-class talents in Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. Although the transactions didn’t produce the desired results, they are exceptional players surrounded by a tantalizing group of stars. The Galácticos are certainly moving in the right direction. Frankly it would be hard not to with their millions of dollars in resources, yet it remains absurd that a team this talented will look to further improve to their roster this summer.
Upon the signing of his 4-year deal as the new coach of Real Madrid, Mourinho has reportedly targeted four key players to bring to the Bernabéu in an attempt to win both domestically and internationally, as the self-proclaimed “Special One” did with Inter Milan this past season.
Although Mourinho has his request, club President Fiorentino Perez believes the side contains a plethora of star players at all positions and will only look to introduce “two or three” fresh faces to the world-renowned club this off-season.
Let’s take a look three rumored players who may be donning the famous all-white kit of Real Madrid this summer, and assess their role during the ucoming World Cup in South Africa:
Maicon – The supremely blessed Brazilian worked with Mourinho at Inter Milan this past season and has already publicly advocated for a reunion in Madrid. Although his contract expires at the San Siro in 2014, count on Perez being aggressive in luring the Brazilian. Real could use a specialist full-back, and there is no doubting Maicon is one of the premier players at his position. Patrolling the right-flank for both a Champions League winning side and perhaps the best national program in the world would not make Maicon a cheap acquisition for Real Madrid though. Paired with Inter Milan teammate Lucio along the Brazilian defense in South Africa, look for Maicon to produce dazzling attacking runs and perhaps even an unbelievable goal or two (as Juventus know all too well).
Steven Gerrard – The face of Liverpool, the world-class English midfielder has long been linked to Jose Mourinho. Spanning back to his days at Chelsea, Real Madrid’s new boss has endlessly tried to sign Gerrard throughout the 30-year-old’s illustrious career. At his opening press conference, Mourinho stated the need for an “all-around midfielder” and nobody fits that bill better than the Liverpool skipper. To add fuel to the fire, a recent poll in the Spanish newspaper Marca asked Real Madrid supporters if they wanted Gerrard at the Bernabéu. A staggering 65 percent favored the transfer. Rumors have surfaced that Gerrard wants to win a domestic league title and has openly questioned his future with the club as they try to find a new head coach following the departure of Rafa Benitez. Although it would be tough for Liverpool supporters to imagine their team devoid of their Anfield hero, perhaps it’s time for Gerrard to trade in his all-red uniform for the famous all-white kit of Real Madrid. Look for Gerrard to display his tenacity and skill throughout the World Cup for an England side with lofty expectations. Especially be on the lookout if Spain and England do battle in the knockout phases, and see if former Liverpool mate, and current Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso tries recruiting the midfielder throughout the match!
Yoann Gourcuff – Impressively dubbed as “the new Zinedine Zidane,” Yoann Gourcuff is certain to move this off-season. The Bordeaux revelation has caught the eye of both Mourinho and Perez, with the latter recently claiming “he will be one of the best players of tomorrow.” Although Real Madrid will likely find themselves competing against many clubs for the star French midfielder, frontrunners Lyon recently pulled themselves out of the running. Primarily utilized as an attacking midfielder in Raymond Domenech’s France side, the world will finally get to see the skill and flair of this talented youngster in South Africa.
Although it seems unfathomable for any these high-caliber players to be displaying their skills at the Bernabéu this season, rejection isn’t a part of Mourinho’s mantra and rest assured, the Galácticos will again make a major splash this off-season.