Former club president Ramon Calderon believes Real Madrid will need “six or seven” new players to rebuild their side this summer, but ultimately expects the club to be hamstrung by their balance sheet.
Los Blancos are in dire straits after crashing out of both the Champions League and Copa del Rey in the space of less than a week, while they are languishing in third place in La Liga.
Will Real be restricted by a “limited” transfer budget? Five key things to know…
- Calderon believes the £500m cost of upgrading the Bernabeu will hinder the club’s transfer budget.
- Real were given the green light to upgrade the stadium in September 2018.
- The upgrade is expected to be completed by 2022 and does not include a capacity increase.
- Madrid are expected to overhaul their squad this summer after enduring a disappointing campaign.
- Calderon now believes Real require “six or seven” new recruits but have reduced funds due to the £500m Bernabeu upgrade.
Santiago Solari’s men suffered a humiliating 5-3 aggregate loss to Ajax in Europe’s elite knock-out competition on Tuesday, while Barcelona pulled off a 4-1 aggregate humbling of their own in Spain’s chief domestic cup.
The Catalonian giants compounded further misery on their eternal rivals after beating them 1-0 in LaLiga last Saturday, effectively ending Madrid’s title hopes.
As such, Solari is a man under seismic pressure and Calderon believes a substantial overhaul will be needed this summer, but will be difficult to oversee due to a “limited” transfer budget at the disposal of whoever is in charge come the end of the season.
Writing in his column for inews, Calderon said that Gareth Bale is a prime candidate to depart: “The Welshman is one of the few players who could bring a big transfer fee to the club, who need to replace six or seven players but have a limited transfer budget because of the £500m cost of upgrading the stadium, which seems unnecessary.
“Bale has not lived up to expectations, having been signed for a world-record fee. He has a long history of back and ankle injuries, has not learned Spanish, is not happy here and I understand both parties [the club and his agent] want to find a way out.
“The problem will be his salary, which is more than English clubs would expect to pay. The biggest disappointment with Bale is that it is felt he did not step up as a leader when Cristiano left, but then replacing him was always going to prove impossible.”
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
‘Mourinho will be new Real manager’
Solari looks set to face the axe sooner rather than later, and one man who has been tipped to step in is Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese remains a polarising figure in the Spanish capital after his previous stint in charge of the club – which included a spat with Sergio Ramos – but Calderon is expecting Mourinho to sign a deal with the club as soon as Monday.
He added: “My understanding is that a ‘tsunami’ of bad news over the past week will be followed by the appointment of Jose Mourinho, possibly as early as Monday.
“The Portuguese will return because something needs to be done, and the president [Florentino Perez] believes Mourinho is the best man he can get at this time – one of the worst periods in the club’s history.
“I understand Mourinho will sign a deal for the remainder of this season and for another three years, with a net salary of £17m per year.
“For the president, Mourinho will be the perfect shield against the unhappiness of the media, the fans and the players.
“But it will not be easy, and I predict it will be very difficult over the next three months. It is hard for the fans to remain calm.
“This club has an obligation to win things, and all they have to hope for is qualifying for next season’s Champions League. The fans are very angry, and I expect to see the stadium half-empty and much waving of white handkerchiefs ahead!”