Not the way forward

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Credit: David Ramos / Ghetty

Real Madrid have welcomed plenty of new additions to the Santiago Bernabéu this summer but Zinedine Zidane must cut his squad before the start of the league campaign.

Los Blancos have a squad of 25 players listed on their official website, with a third-choice goalkeeper yet to be added and exciting prospect Takefusa Kubo set to spend the season training with the first team but playing for Real Madrid Castilla in the third tier of Spanish football.

Donny Van de Beek has also been linked with a move to the Spanish capital before the transfer window closes – meaning Zidane must trim his squad.

A squad that is top heavy, too, with a staggering ten of that 25-man squad being listed as forwards. The attacking department is one the club has been addressing and needs to continue to do so before the end of the transfer window.

Some names, of course, have their futures at the club secure. Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard, Vinicius Junior, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo won’t be going anywhere. Marco Asensio is set to spend the majority of the campaign in the treatment room after suffering a serious injury in the pre-season victory over Arsenal.

Winter recruit Brahim is also expected to to remain at the club this season, and not be sent out on loan, according to Marca.

That leaves the futures of Gareth Bale, Mariano and Lucas Vazquez up in their air. All three have been linked with moves away from the club.

Bale looked set for a big-money move to China but Los Blancos pulled the plug on the deal, with Jiangsu Suning failing to agree to pay a transfer fee for the Welshman. Zidane is desperate to see Bale leave but with few clubs able to pay a fee and his high wage demands, Bale could well remain in Madrid to the frustration of the Frenchman.

With any move for the former Tottenham man in doubt, Madrid must turn their attentions to seeing Mariano and Vazquez leave the club.

Vazquez has been linked with a move to the Premier League with Arsenal but nothing is set in stone, while a loan deal seems more likely for Mariano.

One thing is for sure – Madrid still need to carry out plenty of work in the current transfer window – and the clock is ticking.

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