The Daily Mail have reported that Man City playmaker David Silva will be the subject of a £30 million move to Real Madrid this summer, as Mourinho looks to bolster his team’s attacking threat.
The story itself is fantastical – borderline ridiculous – but the angle taken on Madrid’s transfer targets has some degree of accuracy to it.
Silva’s agent has already dismissed the reports by confirming that his client is ‘very integrated at City’. Certainly Silva’s immediate future lies in Manchester, with the Spaniard presumably looking forward to spearheading the champions’ European Cup pursuit next year. Even the lure of the Real Madrid shirt is unlikely to tempt him away form this opportunity.
However, if Mourinho truly is interested, then releasing this story to the media is not an unwise thing to do. By letting Silva know they are interested, any niggling thoughts of unrest will wriggle their way to the surface: the chances of a move in 12 months time is greatly increased by circulating rumours far in advance.
Either way, the move does not possess any significant weight as things stand, even though Silva will be acutely aware of what wearing the Madrid shirt means; not to mention the improvements it could make to his international credentials. What is more interesting about this transfer rumour is what it says about Madrid’s summer ambitions. Clearly Mourinho has recognised that his central attacking options are somewhat thin, if success on multiple fronts is to be achieved.
Since April, Madrid have been consistently linked with Lucas Moura, as well as Luca Modric and Lucas Biglia. It is no coincidence that all of these players are capable of playing in any of the three attacking midfield positions behind the striker.
Mourinho has utilised this formation for the past two seasons at Real Madrid, and arguably one of the key features of its success is the versatility of his playing squad, with Ozil, Ronaldo, Sahin, and Di Maria all capable of playing anywhere across this line. Their malleable nature allows for constant positional change, giving them the fluidity and unpredictability that was so deadly last season.
But if Madrid are to score 112 league goals again next year, they will need to strengthen this area: Sahin is not quite good enough to be a regular fixture in the side, and Kaka has still not lived up to his over-hyped potential. Kaka managed only 17 starts last campaign, scoring 5 goals and contributing 7 assists in a total 27 appearances. To further dent his chances of finding a place in Mourniho’s team, the 30 year old is only capable of playing in the centre, thus contradicting the requirements of an attacker in this side.
David Silva would be absolutely perfect. It is just unfortunate for Mourinho that he will not be available. Highly rated Lucas Moura is a definite possibility, although there is a risk that he would take some time to acclimatise, considering his youth and inexperience playing European football.
At 25, Modric seems to fit the mould particularly well, and the timing could be perfect. Against Italy, Croatia were largely outplayed in the first half, before Modric was given a more advanced role .
Their change in fortune was obvious to everyone, and Modric’s role in their creditable draw did not go unnoticed in the media. Another successful performance playing in an advanced attacking role (in the position Mourinho needs), and he may just catch the Special One’s eye. The Euros are renowned for making careers, and next in line could be Luca Modric, a man already on the radar, with the chance to prove his creative ability on the big stage.
Silva may not be leaving, but Madrid still need that playmaker, and it could be City’s Premier League rivals that lose out.
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