Spanish champions Real Madrid are generally accustomed to having blockbuster summer transfer windows. Widely regarded as the richest club in the world, Los Blancos have broken transfer records on several occasions, albeit not in the recent past.
Their signing of Eden Hazard last summer was their first 'galactico' signing since that of James Rodriguez all the way back in 2014. They spent over a figure of €250m last summer on the likes of Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, and Ferland Mendy. However, apart from the Frenchman, none of the others have managed to leave a particularly positive account of themselves at the Santiago Bernabeu.
As a result of this, and more importantly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Real Madrid have refrained from making even a single purchase this summer — making this the first summer in 40 years without any incoming for them. Not since 1980 have they entered a new league campaign without adding a fresh face to their roster.
Real Madrid's unusually quiet summer transfer window
Although Zinedine Zidane's men did not bring in any new faces from the transfer market, they looked towards their army of loan players and their famed La Fabrica academy to bolster the squad.
Real Madrid recalled Martin Odegaard from his loan spell at Real Sociedad to strengthen their midfield, and opted against signing Donny van de Beek for this reason. Andriy Lunin and Alvaro Odriozola also returned from Real Oviedo and Bayern Munich, and will play a part in the ongoing season.
As far as outgoings are concerned, Real Madrid sanctioned the departures of up to a staggering 15 players this summer, both on loan and permanently.
The most noteworthy exits were those of La Fabrica full-back pair Sergio Reguilon and Achraf Hakimi, and James Rodriguez.
The World Cup Golden Boot winner was regarded as one of the best playmakers in the world but fell out of favour under Zidane at Real Madrid. After a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich and a bit-part role last year, Rodriguez finally left Real Madrid to reunite with former Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti at Everton.
Hakimi enjoyed a superb two-year spell at Borussia Dortmund and was one of the most in-demand full-backs in the market. Despite several rumours of a Premier League move and a return to Real Madrid, the Moroccan eventually moved to Inter Milan for a fee of £36m.
His former academy teammate Reguilon was on the brink of a move to Manchester United until Tottenham Hotspur offered Real Madrid a better deal in the eleventh hour. Jose Mourinho's men purchased the Spaniard, who was voted as the best left-back in Spain last year, for a fee of £27m along with a buyback clause and a first-refusal option.
Reguilon wasn't the only Real Madrid player who left to North London as former Tottenham man Gareth Bale departed from the Spanish capital as well. The Welshman moved on a loan deal to his former club. The Welshman was much-maligned towards the end of his tenure at Real Madrid and left on a loan spell with the hope of rediscovering the quality that made him one of the most coveted superstars in world football.
Borja Mayoral returned from his loan spell at Levante and was sent to AS Roma on another temporary deal, albeit with a purchase option included. Promising winger Takefusa Kubo also left the club on a temporary deal, but his move to Villarreal does not have an option or an obligation to buy. The winger was courted by several LaLiga Santander clubs but the Yellow Submarine, now helmed by Unai Emery, won the race for him.
Promising young Real Madrid trio Brahim Diaz, Reinier Jesus, and Jesus Vallejo have all been sent out on loan to AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Granada respectively. Reinier's arrangement mirrors that of Hakimi's, as it is a two-year loan deal with no option to purchase. Albert Sorro joined Vallejo at Granada, while Dani Gomez and Jorge de Frutos left for Levante with all three of the youngsters moving on permanent deals worth just under £3m apiece.
Javi Sanchez was sold to Real Valladolid, and Oscar Rodriguez — the talented midfielder who recently earned his first Spain call-up — was shipped to Sevilla in a deal worth £12.15m. Luca Zidane was released and moved to Rayo Vallecano on a free transfer.
In total, Los Blancos raised a total of just under £90m with the host of outgoings this summer. With the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga linked with moves to the Bernabeu in the near future, Real Madrid could be set for a couple of high-profile windows in the coming seasons.
Published 06 Oct 2020, 21:07 IST