It’s a big season for Real Madrid as they prepare for life under a new manager, whilst also coming to terms, along with the rest of La Liga, to life without Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
This could represent a huge opportunity for incoming boss Carlo Ancelotti to get Madrid back on top again after a hugely disappointing campaign last term that saw the title go to their rivals in the Spanish capital, with Diego Simeone guiding Atletico to glory once again.
Real, meanwhile, ended trophyless and decided to part ways with legendary manager Zinedine Zidane, who, despite a La Liga triumph in 2019/20, has been unable to turn the club into a major force again as he did in his first spell in charge at the Bernabeu.
So how are things looking ahead of the new season? Here’s a look at how the club’s summer has gone so far with pre-season, confirmed transfers, and rumoured possible changes before the window closes.
So far, it’s not been great for Ancelotti’s side, with two draws and one defeat from three pre-season matches.
We’ve seen a bit of new signing David Alaba, as well as the likes of Gareth Bale and Martin Odegaard as they return from loan spells away, but the team hasn’t really gelled in the way Ancelotti will have wanted.
Of course, that could all change once the competitive football gets going, but fans might not take too much confidence from the performances they’ve seen so far.
Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Madrid
Rangers 2-1 Real Madrid
AC Milan 0-0 Real Madrid
It’s been pretty quiet so far, with only Alaba coming in on a free transfer from Bayern Munich, while returning loan players like Bale and Odegaard might be viewed as almost like a new signing by some.
David Alaba (free)
Heading out of the club, meanwhile, are Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, in what is undoubtedly a big blow for Los Blancos in defense, though Alaba should soften that blow to some extent. Brahim Diaz will also temporarily swap the Fly Emirates sponsor on his Madrid shirt for the same one on his AC Milan shirt with a season-long loan to the San Siro.
Sergio Ramos – PSG (free)
Raphael Varane – Manchester United (£34m)
Martin Odegaard – Arsenal (£30m)
Brahim Diaz – AC Milan (loan)
Latest Real Madrid transfer gossip
Some big names have been linked with Real Madrid, as they always are, but the football transfer market can be a challenging environment following the pandemic that has hit many teams’ finances.
Madrid are still the envy of many clubs around the world, however, with their sponsors such as Adidas, Fly Emirates, online broker easyMarkets, Audi and EA Sports surely likely to still help give them a competitive budget to work with.
Messi’s move to PSG could free up Kylian Mbappe to become Madrid’s next Galactico, while there has also been rumoured interest in Borussia Dortmund goal machine Erling Haaland, though a move may be more realistic for next summer. Meanwhile, Vinicius Junior’s role in Real Madrid’s first-team is looking uncertain, leading to some speculation about interest from Liverpool and others.
It’s not been the smoothest pre-season for the 13-time Champions League winners, but then it’s hardly been ideal for their main rivals either.
As already mentioned, Barcelona have lost Messi to PSG, and they’ve relied on some free transfers too with moves for Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero, the latter of whom is already injured and not expected to return to action until November.
Atletico Madrid have also not done much of note, apart from signing Rodrigo De Paul, and it’s expected he’ll be a replacement for Saul Niguez, who is being linked with a move to the Premier League.
In the Champions League, PSG will now surely be the favourites after signing Messi, while the likes of reigning European champions Chelsea, plus Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Juventus also likely to be in contention for the trophy ahead of this Real side.