Spanish businessman and former politician Florentino Perez has never shied away from making huge decisions since becoming Real Madrid’s president in 2000, whether it’s regarding the transfer of players or the appointment and sacking of managers. Despite the widespread view that Los Blancos have underachieved under his watch, he remains fully determined to end Barcelona’s domination of Spanish football once and for all.
Real Madrid’s transfer policy
The plan behind the 68-year-old’s business model is not necessarily to bring in players who can help improve the balance of the team, but primarily to acquire the biggest names in world football – the Galacticos. The Galacticos idea typically involves buying one world-class player at the start of each season, from Luis Figo in 2000 and Zinedine Zidane in 2001 all the way to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in more recent years.
Business or football intentions?
However, this policy usually means that some of the club’s existing stars and top performers have to make way for new arrivals. Both Mesut Ozil and Gonzalo Higuain were let go in 2013 in order to fund Bale’s world-record transfer from Tottenham, while the departures of Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi last summer allowed Madrid to spend around £25 million on Croatian starlet Mateo Kovacic.
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A prime example of this policy took place in the summer of 2014 when Real Madrid sold Argentinian international Angel Di Maria and spent approximately £63 million to secure the services of Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez.
Di Maria enjoyed a sensational 2013-14 season on a personal note, scoring 11 goals and providing over 20 assists in all competitions as Carlo Ancelotti’s team won the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. The current PSG winger was Ancelotti’s most important player towards the back-end of that campaign and was named as the man-of-the-match in the Champions League Final as Los Blancos finally completed La Decima.
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Despite this, Perez was more than happy to allow Di Maria to move to Manchester United in order to pave the way for the arrival of 2014 World Cup sensation James.
Who do Madrid want this summer?
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, the three players that Perez most wants at the club next season are Man United goalkeeper David De Gea, Belgian winger Eden Hazard and lethal Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski. They were close to getting De Gea at the end of the last summer transfer window, Hazard has struggled badly for form at Chelsea this term and Poland captain Lewandowski is reportedly excited at the prospect of a move to the Spanish capital.