Isco IN, James OUT - who Real Madrid should sell this summer

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Real Madrid's squad is probably the strongest in world football. Coach Zinedine Zidane has great players to choose from all over the pitch and plenty of talent in reserve as well. This summer, however, the idea will be to make that group even stronger.

Ronaldo at the double as Madrid beat Bayern

Los Blancos were banned from transfers for irregularities in the signing of young players for their academy last year, but saw that sanction cut in half on appeal and will be able to bring in fresh talent again this summer.

Elections will be taking place at the Santiago Bernabeu in July and although president Florentino Perez is unlikely to face much competition, the club chief is looking to make a big-name signing in the summer.

That means there will be some departures too and here, Goal takes a look at the players who should leave Madrid in the next transfer window, along with those who need to be kept and others the club could consider selling in July and August.


Cristiano Ronaldo - The prolific Portuguese remains Real's go-to guy for goals and he showed that with two key strikes against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The four-time Ballon d'Or winner is 32 now, but is still in great shape and signed a new contract only last year. There is plenty of life in him yet at the Spanish side.

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Gareth Bale - The Welsh winger has not been at his best over the past few weeks, but he was badly missed as he spent almost three months sidelined with an ankle injury and is still an important player for Los Blancos. Highly valued by president Perez, coach Zidane and also his team-mates, Bale will continue to be an important player for Madrid in 2017-18 despite the usual speculation linking him with a return to the Premier League.

Karim Benzema - The France forward has had his critics this season, but has looked somewhere near his best in recent times and there is no other more suitable striker to line up alongside Bale and Ronaldo. Benzema scores his fair share of goals, but it is his unselfish link-up play and ability to drop deep and create that make him so important. He is going nowhere this summer.

Luka Modric - The Croatian midfielder is one of the world's best and a delight to watch. He orchestrates much of Madrid's best play in the centre of the park and has played a huge part in the side's success in the Champions League in recent seasons. The former Tottenham man is 32 in September, but there is no way Madrid will contemplate his sale this summer and probably for some time after that.

Toni Kroos - The German midfielder has adapted well since signing from Bayern Munich in 2014 and is a popular player with the fans. He does not score many goals, but is effective in midfield alongside Modric and his ability to find Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo and others from set pieces is a key part of Madrid's armoury.

Casemiro - The Brazilian has grown and grown in the defensive midfield position and was fundamental as Madrid claimed the Champions League last season. Despite the presence of more technical players at the club, he brings balance to the team and is one of the best there is in that roie.

Sergio Ramos - Captain, leader, saviour, symbol... the Spain defender is seemingly more important with every passing week. A leader in defence and a respected skipper, Ramos continues to chip in with vital goals at the other end of the pitch and Madrid would not be the same side without him.

Nacho - Although not first choice when everyone is fit, Nacho is perhaps Madrid's most-improved defender. Never injured, always reliable and willing to play wherever Zidane wants him, he is a very useful man to have around at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Isco - The Spain midfielder will be wanted by many of Europe's elite clubs this summer and has also been strongly linked with Barcelona, but Madrid should make sure he stays exactly where he is. When utilised correctly and on song, there is no other player like Isco and whoever comes in this summer, Real would be wise to keep him.

Marco Asensio - The 21-year-old is one of the best young players in world football and it was his assist that set up Ronaldo for Madrid's winner at Bayern on Wednesday. Asensio will be one of Real's most important men in the coming seasons and the club will not consider selling him this summer. 

Dani Carvajal - The homegrown defender has become one of the best right-backs in the world and was a standout player at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, when he set up Ronaldo's opener. He looks set to make the position his own for many years to come.

Marcelo - Over on the other flank, Marcelo is arguably even better. There is probably no finer attacking left-back around than the Brazilian, who is important for Real at both ends of the pitch and set to stick around for a good while yet at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Lucas Vazquez - Surprisingly left out of the squad for the game against Bayern, Lucas is nevertheless a vital man to have around for Zidane. It was his cool penalty in Milan that set Madrid on their way to La Undecima in the Champions League final last season and his impact from the bench remains key, while he and Asensio also take some of the workload off of Ronaldo and Bale.

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Alvaro Morata - The Spain striker is not playing as much as he would like, but has scored goals in his second spell at Madrid and always gives everything. A big summer signing could put his place in jeopardy, but he is the ideal back-up and competition for Benzema at the moment and should be kept.

Raphael Varane - The France defender is still only 23 and has been at Madrid for six years already. Although he has not quite hit the heights of his early days and is also somewhat prone to injuries in recent times, he is still a great defender with a bright future ahead.

Kiko Casilla - A reliable back-up goalkeeper who is content with his secondary role, Casilla should be kept at Madrid - whomever starts between the sticks for the Spanish side in 2017-18.

Marcos Llorente - The homegrown defensive midfielder has impressed on loan at Alaves and Madrid need cover for Casemiro as well, so he should form part of the club's first-team squad in 2017-18.

Jesus Vallejo - The Spanish Under-21 defender has impressed on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt and would be great back-up for Madrid in 2017-18 - particularly if Pepe leaves the club this summer. If not, he could go out on loan for another season.

Mariano - The young striker moved up to the first team this season and has done well in his limited time. He will want more opportunities now, at the age of 23, and he deserves to play more games next season.


Keylor Navas - Real Madrid will be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer and that means an uncertain future at the club for the Costa Rican shot-stopper. If David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois or another high-profile keeper is brought in, Los Blancos will listen to offers for Keylor.

Zidane confirms Bale injury concern

Pepe - The Portugal defender is still a good player, but he has missed big chunks of the season through injury and is now 34, so Madrid must decide if they will give him one more season or let him leave at the end of the current campaign.

Mateo Kovacic - The Croatian midfielder has done well in his two seasons at Real, but the fierce competition for places at the club means Madrid may consider selling him in the summer. However, he is still only 22 and is unlikley to move unless a big offer comes in.

Danilo - The Brazilian right-back has struggled in his two seasons at the club and Madrid may consider cutting their losses if a decent offer comes in this summer. And if not, he will stay as back-up for Carvajal.

Diego Llorente -  The 23-year-old centre-back is back in favour at Malaga with Michel after a difficult season on loan at the Andalusian club. He recently said that Madrid have been in touch throughout the season, but it is unclear if he will play a part for the first team next term.

Borja Mayoral - The striker is on loan at Wolfsburg, but he has played very little this season and Real Madrid are unhappy with the German club. The 20-year-old may go out on loan again next season or could even leave on a permanent deal given the intense competition for places in attack at the Santiago Bernabeu.


James Rodriguez - The Colombian midfielder is a wonderful player, but with Madrid looking to bring in another big-name signing this summer, something has to give and the South American is the most likely to make way.

Benzema still waiting on Deschamps

Burgui - On loan at Sporting Gijon, the 23-year-old winger will return to Madrid in the summer. However, he is not part of the club's plans and is set to move on in the summer - with Espanyol (where he also spent a spell on loan) interested in his signing.

Fabio Coentrao - Is there really any point in keeping the Portuguese left-back any longer? A €30 million signing from Benfica back in 2011, he has barely featured in the current campaign and admitted he is not good enough at the moment either. With Madrid looking at back-up options for Marcelo, Coentrao could and should finally be sold in the summer.