Real Madrid, Atletico and Barca are clearing out the Old Guard in bid to dethrone the Euro kings of England
SPANISH giants Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have launched an unprecedented clearout — in a bid to become rulers of Europe again.
Counting the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup La Liga sides have won 17 of the last 20 major international club trophies.
But last season the English Premier League dominated, with Liverpool beating Tottenham in the Champions League final and Chelsea seeing off Arsenal in the Europa League’s finale.
Now La Liga’s top dogs are emptying the bank of Spain to fund a European fightback.
Real Madrid are the biggest movers in the transfer market so far, with Zinedine Zidane having already shelled out getting on for £300million.
Winning four of the last six Champions Leagues is a feat unlikely to be repeated for a long time, but the cracks in Zidane’s ageing Real squad have been showing in recent seasons.
They spent around £40m on Brazilian youngster Rodrygo, 18, back in January even before this summer’s rebuilding process went into overdrive.
Eder Militao, 21, is joining from Porto for £45m to bolster their defence.
And Luka Jovic, 21, arrives from German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt for around £54m to help replace the goals lost after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure in 2018.
Ferland Mendy, 24, is seen as a long-term successor to the injury-prone Marcelo, 31, at left-back and cost Los Blancos £43m. And Madrid have secured their first ‘Galactico’ signing in six years, agreeing an initial £89m deal with Chelsea for Eden Hazard, 28.
The spending won’t stop there as Zidane wants at least one of Paul Pogba, 26, or Christian Eriksen, 27, to add depth to his midfield options now that Toni Kroos, 29, and Luka Modric, 33, are no longer capable of playing two matches a week.
Pogba is the preferred choice, but he’d cost more than Hazard.
There’s even talk of a potential bid for Kylian Mbappe, 20, should PSG open the door to selling their unhappy French star. He is being valued at closer to £200m.
Real stars will be allowed to go in order to generate extra funds and free up the wage bill. Gareth Bale, 29, Isco, 27, Modric and keeper Keylor Navas, 32, are all available at the right price.
Barcelona will also look at major changes after failing in Europe.
Philippe Coutinho, 27,
Ivan Rakitic, 31, Samuel Umtiti, 25, Jasper Cillessen, 30, Nelson Semedo, 25, and Malcom,
22, will all be put up for sale as they look to boost a modest initial transfer kitty of £88m.
Barcelona need to raise £300m to fund moves for Antoine Griezmann, 28, of
Atletico, Matthijs de Ligt, 19, of Ajax and Rodrigo, 28, from Valencia.
But should PSG’s Brazilian superstar Neymar, 27, become available he would be their first choice.
Griezmann is expected to sign for Barca in a £110m deal on July 1, and there’s now talk that Jan Oblak, 26, Atletico Madrid’s star keeper who only recently signed a new contract, wants out if top players don’t arrive.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone wants Benfica striker Joao
Felix, 19, who has a
£110m buyout clause but could go for less.
La Liga’s top dogs are out to roar back and are emptying the bank