Old Trafford look to make the most of Bernabeu clear-out.
Man United are taking a keen interest in a likely squad cull that is set to take place at the Bernabeu.
Changes to tax law in Spain have left Real Madrid having to trim the size of their playing staff in order to finance improved salary offers for the players they deem to be indispensable.
Spanish source El Economista outlines those players who will not be subject to the cut-backs, a list of whom is decidedly small but does include recently dropped captain Iker Casillas and a number of his national team colleagues.
A tax hike from 24% to 52% has left many La Liga sides having to opt for quality over quantity when it comes to offering new contracts to their top performers and this will lead Real Madrid having to drastically reduce their squad in order to meet the demands made by their best players.
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This will leave a number of sides clamouring to pick up those talents who could leave the Spanish giants and Sir Alex Ferguson will monitor three players he has an interest in over the second half of the season with a view to possible bids next summer.
The Man United boss has been strongly linked with former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric and may use his good relationship with Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho to scope out any possible move to bring the Croatian back to the Premier League.
The 27 year old has struggled to retain a spot in Mourinho’s first team picture and was named, perhaps harshly, the worst La Liga signing of 2012 by Spanish daily Marca. Whilst Modric wouldn’t want to bring an early end to his Real Madrid career the chance to move to Old Trafford may tempt the midfield schemer into at least considering a return to the English top tier.
Angel Di Maria is another who is likely to be made available, though only for a price they deem fitting for a player of the Argentine’s obvious calibre.
Ferguson is likely to offload Portuguese international Nani in the summer and has earmarked a move for the 24 year old, who was a player the Scot was tracking during his stint at Benfica.
Di Maria was a chief creator for Real Madrid in his first team seasons at the club but has seen his form dip during the current campaign and has on occasion seen Mourinho opt for Jose Callejon to fill his spot.
Real Madrid would expect to garner a fee in excess of £20m for the crafty wide-man and Ferguson will scout the slightly built attacker to assess whether the player is worthy of a sizable outlay next summer.
Ferguson will also run the rule on young French defender Raphael Varane, who is another talent that the Man United boss tracked, only to see the former Lens man opt to move to Real Madrid.
The 19 year old has been making steady progress and after making 15 appearances in all competitions last term the French Under 21 international has already reached the same milestone in 2012/13. The adaptable starlet can play in a defensive midfield role but is most effective as a central defensive option.
With Rio Ferdinand clearly in the latter stages of his career and with Nemanja Vidic having more than his fair share of injury concerns Ferguson could see Varane as a player with the long term potential to fill a role in his Man United back four.
A spot a centre-back may be all the more important as the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling may arguably be more effective in alternative areas.
Sir Alex Ferguson will take a keen interest in how Real Madrid look to proceed in their efforts to cut back their playing staff and will plan accordingly in the summer as he seeks to bring in top quality additions to strengthen his Old Trafford squad.