The Original Bald Genius according to the Real Madrid fans took over when the club was in a spot of bother last season. With Barcelona almost out of sight and cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid looking well set to finish above them, Madrid were left in an imperiously volatile situation by Rafa Benitez. But Zidane butted through the door and held the fort, steering them to an improbable Champions League victory and accounted for numerous sleepless nights of Barcelona supporters.
While Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have been proactive in the transfer market, especially the Catalans, Real have been unusually quiet having not a signed a single player. Zidane had supposedly identified central midfield as the only area Real would need to strengthen thus raising hopes of a Galactico coming through the doors in the form of Paul Pogba, but Madrid were unwilling to meet the absurd asking price of Juventus. Having stepped aside for Man United to splash the cash, recent reports suggest Zidane has moved onto Plan B in his quest for adding quality depth to the centre of the park.
Three alternatives Real are reportedly monitoring are-
The impressive PSG midfielder has been linked with the La Liga giants in almost every transfer window and this time around it is nothing different. The diminutive midfielder is a master passer and expert at breaking up play and constructing counter-attacks. He will fit in well and fans believe his ideal position will be just behind Kroos and Modric in the three-man midfield and he will prove to be an upgrade on Casemiro. But Real might have to brace for rejection as the player has publicly endorsed his loyalty to the French Champions and is bent on fulfilling his aim of winning the Champions Trophy with PSG.
The Newcastle United midfield enforcer was the surprise package of the Euros in which the performances he put in have led the Toons into scratching their heads in bewilderment and wondering if the same player had featured for them in their dismal last season which resulted in relegation. He was the stand-out player on the pitch against Germany and Portugal, and his work-rate and dribbling abilities while tearing through the mid-field of the mighty Germans left fans in awe and disbelief. While Newcastle’s £35m might seem to be an opportunistic decision by them, it won’t pose any trouble for Real and Zidane seems to have been impressed by Pogba’s countryman.
Another surprising name to be linked with Real, after Sissoko. The lanky Chelsea midfielder has been linked with a move away from Chelsea after the signing of N’Golo Kante. While he has been reassured of his role in the team, if a club of Real Madrid’s stature come calling it will be understandably difficult to reject. While he had a dismal last year along with the entire Chelsea squad barring a couple of players, the Serbian is still highly rated and his ability to dominate the midfield and screen the defence is highly regarded in footballing circles.
Zidane has been reluctant to change a lot in his team and any further additions would be aimed to provide cover or an upgrade in midfield and these three provide exactly that.