The other shoe has finally dropped.
Real Madrid have put up nine players for sale, including their whole Dutch contingent. Joining Heinze, Saviola and Mahamadou Diarra on the transfer list are Ruud van Nistelrooy, Rosten Drenthe, Rafael Van der Vaart and perhaps most surprisingly, the young trio of Arjen Robben, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Wesley Sneijder.
According to Sid Lowe, Real Madrid have faxed a list of players for sale to several Premier League clubs and are desperately looking to reduce their wage bill, reduce the number of non-Spanish players in the squad and to bring in funds to supplement their transfer strategy. Robben, Huntelaar and Sneijder are all expected to net Madrid handsome transfer revenue, even if they are unlikely to recover the full amount spent on these players.
After spending nearly £150m on Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka in the space of 7 days, a massive deal already planned for David Villa (£40m) and with Madrid still needing a central defender, left back and central midfielder, Perez is, in his own words, condensing a 3-year plan into 1 year. If the past is any indication, Perez will not only bring more Galaticos to Real Madrid this summer but he will also load the club under massive debt and clear out the squad to make space for his Galacticos.
According to Sid, Madrid remain determined to sell players, even if they do not recuperate their original fees, and would also consider loans. Together, Sneijder, Drenthe, Robben and Van Nistelrooy account for almost 10m a year in wages, while Diarra is on 2.8m, Saviola 2.5m and Heinze 2m. So effectively speaking getting these 7 players out makes way for Ronaldo and Kaka at the club. The price one must pay for making the same mistakes twice.
I expect Manchester United to consider a bid for Huntelaar, Sneijder and possibly Mahamadou Diarra, considering that they were interested in signing Diarra at one point and both Sneijder and Huntelaar will add quality in the right areas at the club.
Then again, when it comes to Huntelaar, Robben, Diarra and Sneijder, they will have no shortage of suitors this summer, and you can expect Liverpool and Chelsea to be in the mix as well, not to mention Tottenham and Manchester City.
Fans of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Everton and even Portsmouth (if the takeover goes through before Madrid sells all the players) – who do you think your club will sign from Real Madrid?