Zinedine Zidane is forced to stick with what he’s got and make flop Eden Hazard the big ‘signing’ as skint Real Madrid can’t buy in January after their failed £250m spree in 2019 and struggles to ditch the dead wood
- It is set to be a disappointing January for Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane
- Madrid are struggling to offload players, meaning they won’t be able to spend
- They are paying the price for their rash £250million spending spree in 2019
- Eden Hazard is continuing to flop following his mega-money move from Chelsea
- The pressure is now on Zidane to make things work with what he currently has
- Martin Odegaard is one player who could be heading out the door – to Arsenal
Zinedine Zidane is unlikely to be given funds in the January transfer window because Real Madrid are struggling to move players out and the pressure is on him to make things work with what he has and, in particular halt the alarming slide of record signing Eden Hazard.
‘Right now he should not be starting for Real Madrid, but it’s Zidane who picks the team,’ said former Madrid player and director of football Peda Mijatovic. ‘What is worrying is the team plays well without him.’
Zidane has to get the best out of Hazard because the club are struggling to refresh the squad in January.
Zinedine Zidane will have to make the most of what he has with January spending unlikely
Eden Hazard’s horror Madrid career continues, and Zidane must try and get the best out of him
Martin Odegaard is edging closer to a move to Arsenal but Sportsmail understands Liverpool have no interest in taking defender Militao on loan despite stories linking the Brazilian defender to Anfield. The 22-year-old has only made two starts all season and one of those was one of Real Madrid’s worst performances, a 3-2 defeat at home in the Champions League to Shakhtar Donetsk.
He is not fancied by Zidane and the same currently goes for Mariano Diaz, Alvaro Odriozola, Isco and even Vinicius but for now all look set to stay where they are, blocking recruitment.
The reigning Spanish champions were able to send Luka Jovic back to Eintracht Frankfurt but only on a loan deal for the rest of the season. After just five Real appearances this term, he wasted no time in serving a reminder of what he’s capable of with two goals from the bench to fire Frankfurt to a 3-1 win over Schalke in his first game back. But other loaned players are showing no signs of convincing clubs to take them permanently.
Gareth Bale looks set to return in the summer and play out the last season of his contract at the Bernabeu and although former Manchester City forward Brahim Diaz has done okay at Milan they have no plans to try to sign him for the €20m (£18m) plus transfer fee Madrid want.
The likes of Militao (L) and Isco (R) are not fancied by Zidane, but they look likely to stay
Gareth Bale is set to come back in the summer after failing to make an impact at Tottenham
The club also had Takefusa Kubo out on loan at Villarreal but he was not getting game time so Madrid found him another loan club, Getafe.
The 23-year-old Serbian forward Jovic and Militao are part of the £250m spending spree in 2019 that has so far provided very poor results. Ferland Mendy has been a hit and there is still hope that 20-year-old Rodrygo Goes will fulfill his huge potential but Jovic, despite his fast starts back in Germany, and Militao have been misses while Hazard is on course to be one of Real Madrid’s most costly transfer errors.
He under-performed again as Real Madrid crashed out of the four-team Spanish Super cup in their semi-final against Athletic Bilbao and was a late sub as they were embarrassed by Alcoyano, from the third division, in the Copa del Rey. There still seems no sign of him finding the sort of form he showed in his last season at Chelsea.
He still enjoys the trust of Zidane who prefers him to the inexperienced Rodrygo, Vinicius and Odegaard but as of yet there has been no return on the faith shown in him.
Luka Jovic recently ended his Madrid nightmare by re-signing for Frankfurt on a loan deal
Mariano played against Alcoyano and Zidane would like an upgrade on the striker he now has to rely on to replace Benzema when necessary but that looks unlikely unless Madrid can lighten their wage bill.
Isco was touted as a possible target for Sevilla last month but Julen Lopetegui is well catered for in terms of the Spaniard’s profile.
Madrid are also being held back by the outstanding contract renewals, by the need to reduce player salaries by 10 per cent as they did last season, and by the desire to make a big signing at the end of the season.
President Florentino Perez has gone on the record as saying big signings are out of the question while players are being asked to take pay cuts and with Sergio Ramos now in the last six months of his contract and unhappy with the first offer made by the club, bringing new players in on big deals is impossible to justify.
Martin Odegaard is another player, like Hazard, who hasn’t stepped up for Zidane
After the first summer in 40 years without a signing in 2020, Madrid want to make amends in the summer of 2021 but activity will depend on supporters being back inside stadiums at full capacity in time for next season and money being saved this window.
If the club come out of this season in a healthier position financially with a solution to ongoing problems like what to do with Bale, Jovic, Odegaard and Isco and with football back to something approaching normality, they can reassess the situation with long-term attacking targets Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, ensure that Bayern Munich’s David Alaba joins them on a free but with a sizeable signing-on fee, and make moves for Villarreal defender Pau Torres and Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.
But until then Zidane must work with what he has. The still underwhelming Hazard will have to be the big winter ‘signing’.
Madrid will hope to reassess the situation with long-term target Kylian Mbappe in the summer