Paper Round: Zidane promised £300m overhaul, but who will be his summer Galactico?
Zinedine Zidane is back at Real Madrid. Tuesday’s Paper Round looks at the players linked with a summer move to the club, and reports of player power blocking Jose Mourinho’s return.
The £300m overhaul
That word ‘Galactico’ has inevitably resurfaced, with the arrival of James Rodriguez in 2014 the last time Real made a marquee signing.
Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Christian Eriksen and Eden Hazard are the four names mentioned in the Independent’s report. Hazard has recently been linked with a £100m move to Real, though Mbappe or Neymar are likely to cost the club a world-record fee.
‘Chelsea’s worst nightmare’
The Belgian has long flirted with a move to the Spanish club, and the prospect of playing under Zidane has many believing the 28-year-old will finally make his move away from Stamford Bridge – however likely it seemed anyway.
Eden Hazard of ChelseaGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: There is little doubt Perez will have offered Zidane the proverbial ‘blank cheque’ to spend on players this summer, and rumours will swirl for the next three months as to what £300m will get you. One-and-a-half Galacticos? One mega Galactico? Hazard and ______?
If Real go big this summer, it could spark one mighty merry-go-round.
No way, Jose
" He (Zidane) will be received well by the players, who were rejecting the idea of Mourinho coming. We are very lucky to have him (Zidane) here. It’s a good choice. The other one was Mourinho and I think in the last days the leaders of the dressing room have pushed to reject him."
Zinedine Zidane and José Mourinho in 2011Getty Images
Mourinho fell out with a number of Real’s leaders during his first spell at the club, including goalkeeper Iker Casillas, while it is said to be the second time the players have blocked an appointment, with Sergio Ramos among those said to be against Antonio Conte taking the role.
Paper Round’s view: Plumping for a former manager is rarely the best way to move forward, but in this instance it is difficult to deny it is a shrewd piece of business from Perez, as well as Zidane himself, while the prospect of Mourinho would have created more problems than it was worth.
The next question will be where next for Mourinho, but that – for now – can wait…