Eden Hazard is the headline signing in what looks like being the LaLiga giants’ third ‘galáctico’ era under club president Florentino Pérez.
“We’ve had to do in one year what we would normally do in three.” That was Florentino Pérez’s verdict when, after returning as Real Madrid president in 2009, he oversaw an unprecedented summer spending spree that cost 264 million euros and saw him purchase no fewer than nine different players: Cristiano Ronaldo (96m), Kaká (65m), Karim Benzema (35m), Xabi Alonso (30m), Raúl Albiol (15m), Ezequiel Garay (10m), Álvaro Negredo (5m), Álvaro Arbeloa (4m) and Esteban Granero (4m).
Having presided over an era of ‘galáctico’ signings in his first tenure as Madrid chief – bringing Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo Nazário and David Beckham to the Bernabéu – Pérez’s transfer splurge this time 10 years ago ago was the start of a second such period at the LaLiga giants, in which would Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez would also go on to become headline captures, joining for 101m and 80m, respectively.
Now, in what is a third ‘galáctico’ project headed up by Eden Hazard, whose signing was confirmed on Saturday, Madrid are planning a close-season spend somewhere around the 400m mark.
The next chief target is Pogba, who Zidane is eager to bring to Madrid. However, UEFA’s financial-fair-play rules prohibit clubs from spending over 100m more on transfers than they make on player departures in a single window and, as United are not keen to let the midfielder go, Los Blancos have been told it’ll take 160 to 180m to prise him from Old Trafford.
With Madrid hopeful of bringing in around 300m from sales, Eriksen is an alternative who, at an estimated 70m, would leave their expected summer outlay at a more clearly FFP-compliant 375m. Pogba, on the other hand, would take this overall figure to at least 465m.