Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit leaves Real Madrid trying to fill a monumental goalscoring void.
But Los Blancos will waste little time in finding someone to step into the sizeable boots left vacant by Ronaldo’s €100million move to Serie A champions Juventus.
Few clubs can match the prestige of playing for Madrid, who have won the Champions League in four of the past five seasons, so there is sure to be a lengthy queue ready to take the mantle.
Below we take a look at the most likely candidates.
Perhaps the most obvious contender is Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, whose star is sure to have risen following a fine World Cup in Belgium’s semi-final run. The 27-year-old is one of the best players in world football and a move to the Santiago Bernabeu may assuage his desire to win the Champions League. With only two years left on his contract and Hazard describing Real Madrid as “everyone’s dream” there is every possibility he swaps blue for white.
Brazil’s flamboyant forward Neymar became the most expensive player in history when he swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a €222m deal last August. However, there have been constant rumblings that his stay in the French capital will be a short one with Madrid heavily rumoured to be his favoured destination. Earlier this month, Madrid denied having launched a lucrative bid to entice Neymar back to Spain, but the sale of Ronaldo may have changed the landscape.
Exciting France teenager Kylian Mbappe has also been the subject of speculation that Madrid were officially forced to deny. Mbappe moved to PSG on loan from Monaco last season in a deal that will become official, but that has done nothing to pour cold water on suggestions Los Blancos will move for the pacy forward, who has starred for Les Bleus in Russia. At just 19, Mbappe would represent a long-term option who Madrid can build a team around.