The latest Gareth Bale injury has started to ring alarm bells among the hierarchy at the Santiago Bernabéu with certain quarters now pondering on why the club failed to sell the player to Manchester United last summer.
Madrid's coach Zidane has always backed the player even admitting recently that he missed being able to play with the "BBC" front three (Cristiano, Bale and Benzema haven't lined-up for Real Madrid since April 23rd this year) with Bale's continual absence being the key reason. The last time the Cardiff-born striker last turned out in a Madrid shirt was the away trip to Dortmund in the Champions League, being forced to leave the pitch after complaining about "cramp", which in time revealed to be another lower-leg related injury.
The player has now suffered 19 injuries that have forced him to miss considerable time for Madrid, with the club now looking at alternative striking options.
Real Madrid's striking alternatives:
Eden Hazard has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital on countless occasions despite having a deal at Chelsea that will see him remain at SW6 through to 2020. Notwithstanding this contract, the Belgian international has alluded to his "dream of working with Zidane" on more than one occasion with Zizou also having recommended the signing for the Spanish club to Florentino Perez when the player was just 19-years-old.
Tottenham and Real Madrid have a recent history of moving big name players from North London to the Spanish capital with Modric and Gareth Bale being prime examples. Harry Kane is the latest name to be linked with a move to LaLiga.
Kane has bagged 13 goals in 14 games this season and a tentative price of 200 million euro associated with his signature. Recent comments do suggest that Kane deems his future to be in London stating: “I'd love to be a one-club-man, but that depends on the coach and how the club moves forward. Tottenham's lack of a trophy could be one of the fundamental factors in dictating Harry Kane's future footballing destination.
Another Tottenham target on the Real Madrid radar following his brace against Zidane's men in the recent 3-1 win at Wembley is Dele Alli with the English international still yet to renew his current contract deal with Spurs.
Recent events have seen Neymar linked with a move to the Bernabeu with the player's poor relationship with PSG coach Unai Emery and his apparent disappointment with life in the French capital being cited as a potential triggers that could propel a move away from Ligue 1. Sergio Ramos also made an overture towards the Brazilian stating: “I always want the best players here (at Real Madrid) and Neymar is one of those…”
Madrid have still not given up the ghost in bringing teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe to the Bernabeu despite his summer move to PSG and are keeping a close eye on the evolution of the former AS Monaco striker at the Parisian side.
Robert Lewandorski has been close to a move to Real Madrid in the past and comments from the player's agent stating that the Polish striker was disillusioned with things at the Allianz Arena have done little to spark off speculation that the long commented move to LaLiga wearing the famous white shirt could be a possibility for "Lewy" in the summer of 2018.
In 2015 Zidane praised Lyon's Nabil Fekir: "Watching him play is impressive, he hits the ball so hard and you can see he's got a lot of personality. He impressed me technically". That year Fekir was chosen as the best youngster in Ligue 1, but then tore a knee ligament putting his career on temporary hold as he recovered. He's now back to full fitness and is meeting the expectations placed on him.
If Real Madrid do decide to press ahead with a move for Fekir, who is under contract to 2020, they'll have competition. SFR Sport reports that Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus are all also keen. However Real Madrid have an advantage. Last year, in an interview with Canal Football Club the player revealed his intentions: "If Zizou calle me tomorrow, I'd be delighted to move, I'd never say no to him".