Real Madrid’s wage cap set to be SLASHED by LaLiga… leaving ‘difficult decisions’ to be made to trim bloated 35-man squad – with futures of stars including Man United target Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard up in the air
- LaLiga’s top clubs have been badly hit by the impact of the Covid pandemic
- Finances have been affected and Real Madrid’s wage cap is set to be slashed
- Barcelona are the worst affected but Real know they must trim a bloated squad
- The futures of Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard remain unclear
Real Madrid’s wage cap is expected to drop by almost £150million – leaving the futures of big earners such as Raphael Varane, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard in doubt.
While bitter rivals Barcelona find themselves in a far worse economic spot – so bad currently that they are still to re-sign Lionel Messi – amid the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Real Madrid have still seen income and revenue drop significantly.
Last season the club’s wage cap with LaLiga was in the region of €473million (£403m) whereas the Athletic report that that figure is now expected to come in far closer to €300m (£255m) for 2021-22.
Real Madrid are planning to trim their bloated 35-man squad this summer to reduce wage bill
Eden Hazard (left) and Gareth Bale (right) reportedly take up 13 per cent between them
As a result it is said to be Real Madrid’s ‘primary objective’ this summer to reduce a first team squad that currently houses 35 players.
That is too many players for returning boss Carlo Ancelotti to manage and keep happy and it is also placing too much strain on the wage bill, which is being reduced significantly prior to the upcoming season.
Kylian Mbappe is seen as the dream target still but with a figure of around £150m needed, that, in Spain, is still seen as ‘far-fetched’ this summer.
Questions are now being posed about how Real will alleviate some of the pressure on the wage cap and which high earners could be moved on.
Varane, who has interest from Manchester United, is in the final 12 months of his deal and it currently remains unclear if he will be sold or whether he will see out the remainder of his deal.
Manchester United are reportedly set to make a £50million bid for Raphael Varane (pictured)
Carlo Ancelotti has returned to the club and conceded they need to make decisions on stars
Previous reports outlined that the 28-year-old rejected Madrid’s offer of a new deal, with the player said to be unhappy Real chose to negotiate with Luka Modric, Lucas Vazquez and Sergio Ramos, who has since left for Paris Saint-Germain, ahead of him.
Bale and Hazard reportedly consume 13 per cent of Madrid’s salary budget between them but given the strain on the market it remains unclear if either can be sold.
Bale is out of contract in 12 months’ time while Hazard, who was signed for an initial £88m in 2019, is under contract through until 2024.
Isco, who was disregarded by former boss Zinedine Zidane, as well as Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos, both returning from loan spells with Arsenal, also face uncertain futures.
‘We have a very big squad, and the first thing we have to do is evaluate the players we have, and reduce it a bit,’ Ancelotti said in his unveiling.
‘We’ll have to see how we do that. I know the squad very well, the young players too, and those coming back from loans.
Martin Odegaard (left) and Isco (right) are both believed to be available if deals can be struck
‘We have many options in the squad, (and) need to calmly evaluate everything.’
LaLiga president Javier Tebas, in a conference call with international journalists last week, said that the division would not be bending their wage cap rules to favour Barcelona.
When quizzed on his knowledge of Real Madrid”s financial situation, Tebas was brimming with praise about their efficiency in the pandemic.
President Florentino Perez presented annual accounts at last December’s AGM which showed a slender profit of €300,000 (£255,000).
‘Real Madrid’s situation is very good, after the pandemic, because of what Madrid have done when they reach certain situations,’ Tebas said.
‘Fernando Hierro, Iker Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo — and now Ramos. Real Madrid have managed the pandemic extraordinarily well.’