The third international break of the season comes around at a great time for Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid side as they are level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga. The Spanish giants have only lost once in the league so far this season and are looking to be in a strong position to maintain their recent form.
Eden Hazard produced his best performance in the white of Madrid against Eibar, and his return to form would be a massive boost for Zidane and the team. However, there are still some players in the squad that are to find their optimal performance level and may be ushered out of the door in the upcoming January window. But, which players could we see depart the Spanish capital?
The long-term future of Gareth Bale has been a sticking point for those in Madrid for a few years now. The Welshman looked to have been a certainty to be leaving over the summer months, only for the club to pull the plug on the deal that would take Bale to China. Zidane has reiterated that he is happy to have Bale at the club but hasn’t featured in the last four fixtures.
He looked to have got back in Zidane’s good books at the beginning of the season as he scored twice against Villarreal to salvage a draw. However, a late red card may have been damaging to restoring that relationship.
The 30-year-old has a solid pass percentage of 82.2% this season and wins 2.2 aerial duals per match, but whether that will be enough to keep him in Madrid remains to be seen. He could look for the move due to limited playing time following the return to form of Hazard.
Maybe he would feel more welcome in the country where NFL and NBA betting picks are the most popular sports. Would the Welshman be willing to a move to USA, to play in the Major League Soccer?
There is no doubting the ability of Isco, but there is a feeling that his career has gone very stale over the last couple of seasons and he would flourish with a move away from the Spanish giants. He was famously once preferred to Gareth Bale to start the 2017 Champions League final, and at that point he seemed destined to be a superstar. However, his form and confidence has taken a hammering since that evening.
He has only started two games in La Liga this season, and the confidence in him from Zidane looks to be at an all-time low. Fortunately, he does have youth on his side, and he could resurrect his career with a move away. Real could loan him out to start with and then possibly reap the benefits when he comes back to the club in form. There are a host of clubs interested in the Spaniard, so finding a suitor wouldn’t be hard for Madrid.
It has been an astonishing fall from grace for Luka Modric, as he enjoyed a wonderful 2018. During that season, he helped Madrid win the Champions League and his national side reach the final of the World Cup. His achievements saw him crowned the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner, which broke the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominance on the accolade.
However, he may now be forgiven for wishing that he would have left the Spanish giants to join Inter Milan, because his performances over the past 18 months have been short of what has come to be expected by the Croatian.
Real could look to offload him in January to try and get some kind of money from the deal, as he looks to set to be released on a free at the end of the current season. Inter Milan could once again be the club that comes calling, and that deal would certainly see their odds slashed to win the Serie A title increase.