A Real Madrid line-up under manager Jose Mourinho, including Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen and Kalidou Koulibaly

11 Jan

By Real Madrid’s exceptional standards the 2018/19 season has been total rubbish so far.

Swift action was taken by sacking Julen Lopetegui as manager following their humiliating 5-1 defeat to league rivals Barcelona in October with Los Blancos in ninth in La Liga at the time.

It’s been a pretty dismal season at Real Madrid so far

Interim boss Santiago Solari has slightly steadied the ship with Real now fifth in the table and they are still fighting in the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

However, reports emerged that club president Florentino Perez is looking to bring Jose Mourinho back to the Bernabeu and that could see a number of new signings come in, too.

They’ve already brought in youngster Brahim Diaz from Manchester City in a deal that could be worth up to £22million but there are surely more to come.

So how might the Spanish giants line up next season? Below you can see a possible Real Madrid XI for the 2019/20 season under Jose Mourinho.

Goalkeeper

The no.1 jersey is certainly up for grabs given Thibaut Courtois’ poor form since signing in the summer, while Keylor Navas has recently signed a contract until June 2021.

However, given Mourinho worked with Courtois at Chelsea, the Portuguese could be the one to restore his confidence.

Defence

Two defensive signings could be in the pipeline for Real – Napoli’s £90million-rated Kalidou Koulibaly, as well as Porto’s Eder Militao.

Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing these two players as well but Madrid has more of a pull than the Premier League giants.

If Koulibaly were to sign, he would have to compete with captain Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane but the Senegal international is more than capable of achieving that.

Meanwhile, Militao would have to compete with Dani Carvajal for a place in the starting XI.

Midfield

It’s in Real Madrid’s culture to replace ageing players no matter how good they are – look at Cristiano Ronaldo.

And the same could be happening to Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric at the ripe old age of 33 with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen reportedly the heir to his midfield throne.

Eriksen’s deal at Spurs runs out in June 2020

Eriksen is stalling on a new deal at Spurs which could be the perfect opportunity for Real to swoop in.

However, the latest stories claim Spurs would only be willing to let the Dane go for a record transfer fee.

Attack

Given Real’s dismal season, Diaz could get plenty of opportunities to establish himself in the first-team.

And it’s surely just a matter of time before Eden Hazard joins as he has continued to not sign new deals at Chelsea for the best part of a year. This is also a move ex-Blues boss Mourinho would surely be behind.

Mourinho and Hazard have worked together at Chelsea

Karim Benzema has been linked with a move away which could pave the way for Gareth Bale to play as an out-and-out striker.

Real Madrid have struggled to fill the Ronaldo void but Bale is one of the few players in world football capable of getting near his standards.

Starting XI

Could this be the team to restore Real Madrid’s glory days?

Real Madrid: Watch behind the scenes video of Brahim Diaz’s first day at the European champions

8 Jan

Brahim Diaz was introduced to the Real Madrid fans for the first time on Monday after completing his transfer from Manchester City.

Diaz signed a six and a half year contract after the £22million deal that saw him leave the Ethiad.

Brahim Diaz in his Real Madrid kit

He was taken into the dressing room at the Santiago Bernabéu for the first time and his reaction was caught on video.

“I think it is amazing,” he said. “I can’t wait to share moments with great players.

“I want to add to the team and give my best.”

The 19-year-old stepped on to the pitch at the Bernabéu for the first time after his move from City.

After the presentation ceremony held in the presidential box, the midfielder put on the Real kit and posed for the media out on the pitch.

Díaz thanked the fans for their affection and threw balls into the stands.

City are understood to have secured a basic £15.5m fee for Diaz with a potential extra £6.5m in add-ons.

The deal includes a 15 per cent sell-on clause, but that rises to 40 per cent if the buying club are Manchester United.

Diaz said he had no hesitation in packing up and returning to his native homeland.

Speaking at his official presentation, he said: “When I was told of Real Madrid’s interest I didn’t think twice about it.”

Manchester City transfer news: Brahim Diaz completes move to Real Madrid on six-year deal

6 Jan

Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Manchester City starlet Brahim Diaz on a six-year deal.

The attacking midfielder will be presented on the Santiago Bernabeu pitch after a medical on Monday afternoon.

Diaz will become a Real Madrid player in the summer

City had hoped to keep the 19-year-old Spaniard but believe a deal which could be worth up to £22million represents a good deal for a player who had just six months left on his contract.

A Real Madrid statement said: “Real Madrid and Manchester City have agreed to the transfer of the player Brahim Diaz, who will be committed to the club for the remainder of the season and the next six, until June 30, 2025.

“After a medical examination to be held tomorrow, Monday January 7, the player will be presented at 1:30pm at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.”

The deal with City also includes a 15 per cent sell-on fee but, interestingly, it is understood that rises to 40 per cent should Real sell the Spain Under-21 international to Manchester United.

Diaz has been at City since joining from home-town club Malaga at the age of 14 but has seen first-team opportunities limited at the Etihad, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez ahead of him in the pecking order.

In total, Diaz has made 15 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side, his most recent being last month’s Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Leicester.

Manchester City include ‘United tax’ in Brahim Diaz’s £22million transfer to Real Madrid

5 Jan

Manchester City have taken the unusual step of including ‘Manchester United tax’ in Brahim Diaz’s transfer Real Madrid, which is nearing completion.

The talented 19-year-old has agreed to leave the current Premier League champions after a lack of first-team opportunities.

Brahim Diaz is moving to Real Madrid

Madrid will pay an initial £15.5million for Diaz with this potentially rising to £22million with add-ons depending on his success in Spain.

City, though, have insisted on a special United clause in the deal to try and prevent Real selling him to their rivals in the near future.

Real Madrid are paying an initial fee of £15.5million for Brahim Diaz

City will be entitled to 15 per cent of the sell on fee for Diaz but if he is sold to United this will jump to 40 per cent.

Diaz cost City an initial £200,000 when he signed from Malaga five years ago.

He has reportedly been offered a six-year contract with Madrid worth more than £60,000 a week.

Diaz will also go straight into the senior squad rather than joining the Castilla side.

Manchester City transfer news: Brahim Diaz ‘close’ to completing Real Madrid move for £15.5million with shock Man United clause

5 Jan

Brahim Diaz is reportedly close to completing a £15.5million move from Manchester City to Real Madrid.

The talented 19-year-old has agreed to leave the current Premier League champions after a lack of first-team opportunities.

Brahim Diaz is close to signing for Real Madrid

Diaz cost City an initial £200,000 when he signed from Malaga five years ago.

The fee for the midfielder could rise to £20million including bonuses.

City would then receive a significant percentage of the transfer fee if he is then sold by Real.

Should that move be to Manchester United, then they would be entitled to 40 per cent, according to the Daily Mail.

He has reportedly been offered a six-year contract with Madrid worth more than £60,000 a week.

Diaz would also go straight into the senior squad rather than joining the Castilla side.

January transfer window: 11 players who could be on the move this month, including Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea stars

1 Jan

The January transfer window is now open, giving Premier League clubs the chance to recruit and offload players for the second half of the season.

But which high-profile deals are going to be done this month? talkSPORT.com takes a look at 11 potential movers…

Toby Alderweireld

Alderweireld’s contract was due to run out in the summer but now he’s available for £25m

Spurs have triggered an extension clause in the defender’s deal, which ties him to the club until 2020, but they are just protecting themselves considering Alderweireld would have been out of contract in the summer.

He can leave for £25million, his release clause, and it would be a huge surprise if Manchester United do not come in for him again.

The uncertainty at Old Trafford after Jose Mourinho’s exit could affect their pursuit of the defender but it would be a surprise if there was no interest.

Isco

Could Isco be on his way to the Premier League?

Isco has fallen out of favour under new Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari and could be a makeweight in any future deal for Eden Hazard.

He has not started in La Liga under Solari and made just two starts in the Copa Del Rey and Champions League.

At 26 years old, the midfielder is experienced enough but could command a big fee, although he may bide his time to see if Solari stays beyond the summer.

Brahim Diaz

Going to the Bernabeu is Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz with Marca saying a permanent move is almost done.

Diaz, 19, has been at City since signing as a youth player in 2013, but has grown frustrated at his lack of playing time and it looks like another promising young player is set to leave the Etihad following Jadon Sancho’s departure in 2017.

Ivan Perisic

Inter Milan midfielder Perisic is said to be interesting Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid, along with Manchester United.

Perisic rejected United in 2017 to stay with Inter so it might be a fight to convince him to leave the San Siro.

Perisic is valued at £45m by Inter

But reports in Italy suggest Inter are ready to cash in on the Croatia international who could cost around £45million.

Christian Pulisic

Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been credited with an interest in the Borussia Dortmund winger with Stamford Bridge being his most likely destination.

He is set to leave the Westfalenstadion after the emergence of Jadon Sancho and has 18 months left on his contract.

Chelsea and Liverpool are in a tug of war for Pulisic’s signature

Bayern Munich were also reportedly interested but that has cooled ahead of January.

Yaya Toure

In what is likely to be an expensive window, 35-year-old Toure is available on a free transfer after leaving Olympiakos.

The midfielder’s three-month stay in Greece ended in December after just two starts and two substitute appearances.

He has Premier League experience, winning the title three times with Manchester City. He will command big wages and has been linked with West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Toure’s second spell at Olympiakos has been pretty low key

Aaron Ramsey

The Wales international will be available for free in the summer, with Arsenal deciding not to offer him a new contract. He will be able to discuss moves with clubs outside the Premier League in January and Bayern Munich and Juventus have both been linked with the midfielder.

Despite his impending exit, Ramsey has still featured in 16 of Arsenal’s 19 Premier League games this term though he has started just seven of them.

Callum Wilson

Chelsea’s striker issues have seen them turn their attention to Bournemouth hot-shot Wilson.

Wilson could be the one to solve Chelsea’s problems up front

He has scored eight goals this season and was also on target against the United States on his England debut in November.

The Cherries will fight to keep the 26-year-old but could find it hard if Chelsea put their money where their mouth is.

Cesc Fabregas

The World Cup winner has started just once in the Premier League this season and warned Chelsea he will attract “many clubs” in January.

His deal expires at the end of the season and the midfielder can sign a pre-contract agreement from January 1.

Fabgregas has made just five Premier League appearances for Chelsea this season

AC Milan and Monaco have been credited with an interest while Manchester City have been linked as they search for back-up to Fernandinho.

Emiliano Sala

Cardiff are chasing the Nantes forward and the deals done by the struggling clubs in January will have a bearing on who survives.

Sala has netted 13 times in France this season and a goalscorer is what every side craves, with Cardiff averaging less than a goal a game.

With nine points separating the Premier League’s bottom seven teams January is a crucial time.

Dominic Solanke

Solanke is very close to joining Crystal Palace on loan for the rest of the season

This could be one of the first deals to get over the line in January with Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke already reportedly undergoing a medical ahead of a loan move to Crystal Palace.

Solanke, 21, has struggled for first-team action at Anfield since moving in July 2017 and a move to Palace would be the perfect opportunity for him to prove he can perform at the highest level.

It would also ease Roy Hodgson’s striker crisis with winger Andros Townsend playing the position lately.

Manchester City 2-0 Fulham: Brahim Diaz scores brace to send Carabao Cup holders into the quarter-finals

1 Nov

Brahim Diaz scored twice for Manchester City to see off Fulham and send Pep Guardiola’s men into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Kevin De Bruyne was impressive in his first start since returning from injury, although the Belgium midfielder was replaced before the end after going down with injury.

Diaz scores his, and City’s, second goal

City dominated proceedings in truth, camping themselves in the Whites’ half with Phil Foden, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus all missing opportunities.

But 19-year-old Diaz showed the first team regulars how it is done, with his two strikes securing a comfortable victory for the holders.

A quarter-final tie against one of Leicester City or Southampton awaits, with a place in the final four up for grabs after that.

De Bruyne needed less than a minute to have his first crack at goal, and went close again in the fifth minute.

De Bruyne was impressive throughout, but picked up a knock at the end of the game

City had quickly set up camp in the Fulham half and would rarely leave, with Foden the next to go close when he hit a powerful shot from the left which stung the palms of Sergio Rico before De Bruyne sent the rebound over.

Instead it was Foden’s fellow youngster Diaz who broke the deadlock five minutes later with his first City goal.

Vincent Kompany headed down a looping cross from Fabian Delph and Diaz ran on to it to hit a powerful shot which deflected off Aleksandar Mitrovic to beat Rico.

City pushed for more with Danilo cracking a shot against the outside of a post after breaking into the area, while Foden would head just wide from De Bruyne’s wicked cross as half-time loomed.

Phil Foden was always looked to create opportunities at the Etihad

The second half started in much the same vein, with Leroy Sane’s dinked cross headed wide by Gabriel Jesus before De Bruyne bent a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

The longer the game stayed at 1-0 the more Fulham were tempted into the City half, but just as it looked as though they were gaining a foothold in the match, the hosts doubled their lead in the 65th minute.

Foden was involved again, recovering possession and slipping it to Sane. He in turn played in Jesus but when the Brazilian’s shot across goal was touched on to a post by Rico, the ball fell for Diaz and the Spaniard took a touch before rifling the ball into the roof of the net.

With five minutes left De Bruyne limped off and was replaced by 18-year-old midfielder Claudio Gomes.

By then Diaz had already gone off to a standing ovation from fans who will hope they get to see plenty more of him and Foden in the future.