How Real Madrid COULD line up under Jurgen Klopp with Eden Hazard, Neymar Jr and Mauro Icardi
Jurgen Klopp is reportedly Real Madrid’s top target this summer, if Santiago Solari gets the sack.
The Argentine was brought in following Julien Lopetegui’s dismissal in October after just four months in charge at the Bernabeu.
After two underwhelming appointments, it seems Los Blancos are looking to bring in a superstar manager to revitalise the club.
According to The Independent, senior officials in the Spanish capital believe Jose Mourinho is ‘finished’ and the German would provide more excitement.
With Gareth Bale seemingly with one foot out of the door and questions surrounding the futures of Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, an overhaul could well be on the cards.
President Florentino Perez will surely open the cheque book for a new raft of ‘Galacticos’ to come in, so expect some serious movement in the summer.
But just where would Klopp need to buy and how could a Real Madrid side under his management look?
Scroll down to see the possible signings and tactics the German could implement in Spain.
Despite his years of loyal service, Marcelo looks likely to be the first major casualty at the Bernabeu this summer.
After questions about his fitness at the beginning of the season, the Brazil international finally lost his place to youngster Sergio Reguilon and looks set to move on.
According to reports in Europe, Karim Benzema has been told he will not be the main striker in Madrid next season and has agreed a deal to join Paris Saint-Germain.
And with Chelsea target Isco reportedly refused to get on the team bus before the humiliating Champions League defeat to Ajax, meaning Klopp could potentially have to deal with three major stars leaving.
With three key players reportedly on the move this summer, Klopp would have a massive rebuilding job on his hands. However, his success at Liverpool was born out of loss – he reached the Champions League Final five months after selling Philippe Coutinho.
Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi is constantly getting linked with a move and, after Chelsea reportedly pulled out of a deal because of his troublesome wife, looks free to move to Spain.
Eden Hazard seems to have been linked with Los Blancos for the past five years and the signing of Christian Pulisic seems to suggest a move could finally be on the cards.
Another superstar to have been constantly linked with Madrid is former Barcelona winger Neymar Jr. The Paris Saint-Germain ace left Spain in 2016, but Wednesday night’s disappointing defeat to Manchester United means the Champions League trophy will elude the Brazilian once again.
Former Manchester United and Chelsea target Alex Sandro is also reportedly being considered for a move in the summer as a direct replacement for compatriot Marcelo.
Although the aforementioned Bale is public enemy No.1 at the moment, his inflated wages and transfer value mean clubs are unlikely to sanction a bank-breaking move for the Wales international anytime soon.
STYLE OF PLAY
Klopp is renowned for his ‘heavy-metal’ style of football which relies on a high press and a high tempo. Liverpool, at times, carved teams open en route to meeting Real in the Champions League Final.
German writer Uli Hesse perfectly described Klopp’s style of play before the Reds faced Borussia Dortmund at Anfield in 2016.
He wrote: “There was a very good piece in Die Zeit that said modern coaches like Thomas Tuchel are from the Guardiola and Van Gaal School of Coaching. What these modern coaches value above all else is control, ‘we have to be in control at all times and we have to have the ball’.
“What Klopp likes is when things get out of control, because at that point it is all about emotion, about passion, and at that point it comes down to how much you want it. This is when Klopp’s teams are at their best.”
In order to bring back excitement and happiness to Madrid – ‘ilusion’ as it is known in Spain – Klopp seems perfectly suited.
When Madrid romped to the La Liga title in 2012 they broke a number of records including 100 points in a single season, a record 121 goals scored and goal difference of +89, and a record 16 away wins and 32 overall wins.
Klopp’s attacking philosophy would be perfect to bring those days back to the Bernabeu.
If we take arguably Klopp’s greatest night as Liverpool boos as a template, the potential Real Madrid side for next season looks tantalising to say the very least.
When the Reds ripped Roma apart in the Champions League last season, Klopp set his side out in a 4-3-3 formation which was designed to suffocate the Serie A side and press them into submission.
With Jordan Henderson tasked with starting attacks from deep and Oxlade-Chamerlain and Milner driving forward at every opportunity, Roma’s midfielders were completely overrun.
Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson flew past their markers at every opportunity, secure in the knowledge Henderson could cover alongside Virgil Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren.
As if that wasn’t enough, the relentless pressing and pace on the break of Liverpool’s front three proved to be too much for the Italians as Salah and Firmino bagged twice each, with Mane getting on the scoresheet as well.
Real Madrid currently aim to control teams by keeping the ball, a tactic used to great effect by Zinedine Zidane. But the difference from this season to last campaign is they had an equaliser in Cristiano Ronaldo which meant teams were more reluctant to break on them en masse.
It would certainly mean their midfielders would be asked to augment their game somewhat, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos currently flanking Casemiro in a turgid, yet dominant, midfield three.
By granting Kroos license to get on the ball and control the game from deep, Real could bring in talented starlet Sergio Asensio alongside Modric to join the attackers and push teams back in they way Klopp would want.
Dani Carvajal has shown he is more than capable of bombing down the right flank and the introduction of the dangerous and technically sound Sandro on the opposite side would add balance to this Real team.
And, with potentially one of the most potent attacking trio in footballing history, La Liga defenders would find it almost impossible to stop the German’s side.