Perez wants a Galactico signing as Real Madrid elections near

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The club chief is looking to bring in another star player in the next window as Los Blancos reshape their squad following the transfer ban


SPECIAL REPORT

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is targeting a Galactico signing ahead of summer elections at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The club chief returned to the presidency in 2009 and spent in excess of €250 million in an ambitious project similar to his first spell at the club, when the team featuring Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and David Beckham was nickamed Los Galacticos.

Upon his return, the construction magnate sought to replicate that plan by bringing in Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso. And that has always been his idea: to build a team with the best Spanish talents combined with the finest footballers from the rest of the world.

In 2013, elections were due to take place once again and despite only moderate success up until that time, he was unchallenged and duly promised another exciting project. And that saw the arrival of Gareth Bale for a world-record €100m fee, plus Isco and Carlo Ancelotti as coach.

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Eden Hazard

Four years on, Madrid have added two more Champions League titles and as in 2013, Perez is unlikely to face competition for the presidency this summer. And that is partly because any candidate needs to guarantee they can put forward 15 per cent of the club's budget (around €150m), while they also are required to have been a socio for at least 20 years.

Nevertheless, Florentino is targeting a big summer signing to keep Madrid fans excited about the club's next sporting project, with Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard and Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe topping the list, possibly along with Atletico forward Antoine Griezmann.

However, none of those will be easy to bring in and Chelsea have made it clear that Hazard is not for sale, while the player himself - who is a favourite of Zidane - has also said he is very happy in London and in no hurry to move.

Mbappe could arrive and the young French forward (who is still just 18) visited Madrid when he was younger. He also idolises Cristiano Ronaldo and Real are interested, although his signing would mean Alvaro Morata would probably have to leave in the summer. Alternatively, he could be allowed to spend another season at Monaco on loan.

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Antoine Griezmann Real Madrid Atletico Madrid La Liga

Thibaut Courtois

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Griezmann's case is more complex. After hitting the equaliser for Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month, the 26-year-old refused to rule out the possibility of joining Real. And Madrid are set to bring in Atletico's left-back Theo Hernandez (who is on loan at Alaves) by paying his release clause this summer, which could make transfers between the two teams easier. Nevertheless, Griezmann has said that his future is tied to that of his coach, Diego Simeone, and a move in the next window seems unlikely.

There will be room at Madrid for one more midfielder or forward player as James Rodriguez is set to depart, but Isco and Marco Asensio will want more minutes next season and no new signing of the highest calibre will accept a bit-part role - and Real are likely to have to wait for talents such as Hazard and Griezmann anyway.

In the meantime, Los Blancos are in the market for a new goalkeeper and Chelsea's Thibaut Courtous tops their list. The Belgian, previously with Atletico, is keen to return to Madrid to be closer to his daughter. He is unwilling to sign a new deal with the Premier League leaders for that reason and talks have already taken place.

The arrival of Courtois is much more likely than a move for David De Gea because Real's relations with Manchester United were damaged by the events of two years ago, when the transfer was botched at the last minute and the goalkeeper remained at Old Trafford, with Keylor Navas - who was set to move to old Trafford - staying at Madrid.

So bringing in a Galactico may prove difficult for Florentino and Madrid this summer, but the club chief will push for a marquee signing to excite the fans once again in an election year, whether or not he faces competition, and even if the club claims the Champions League crown once again in Cardiff at the end of next month.

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