With debts exceeding £456m together with a number of disgruntled high-profile players due to either a: contractual disputes, b: continual omissions from the first-team and/or c: falling out of favour with the club's support, there could be a winter window fire-sale at Real Madrid that a number of Premier League clubs could take advantage of.
Iker Casillas: market value = £22m
A two-time Champions League winner, a claimant of five La Liga titles, two European Championships with Spain, one World Cup, 150 international caps and countless individual prizes, one would assume that 32-year-old Iker Casillas is not only one of the best in the world in his position, but also an automatic starter at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The former is true, the latter is false as the academy graduate - whose goals-conceded to games played for the past five years is 0.88:1 - has effectively been demoted by manager Carlo Ancelotti as the club captain is playing second fiddle Diego Lopez.
According to Punto Pelota, Casillas is currently content to stay in Madrid, however, there have reportedly been talks held between player and president Florentino Perez surrounding a potential move to England.
Teams interested: Arsenal, Manchester City
Sergio Ramos: market value = £35m
Ramos' list of accomplishments belie his 27-years. The player, an integral part of both Real Madrid and Spain's defence, is credited for his versatility at the back, his aerial strength, his ability at holding on to the ball, his tackling, dribbling the ball out, playing the football on the floor and his dribbling instincts.
It is this combination of being a rock at the rearguard and a beginner of plays that has long attracted interest in his signature, with cash-laden Manchester City the latest admirers reportedly eager to recruit the Camos-born defender.
He has an astonishing 111 international caps to his name, together with 360 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos. With City's interest, Real were allegedly looking at extending the player's contract but there remains con confirmation of a new deal, sparking speculation that, should City pounce with a strong bid in January, Manuel Pellegrini may be able to test Ancelotti's resolve.
Teams interested: Manchester City
Karim Benzema: market value = £30m
Part of a prospective and audacious triple-swoop from Arsenal in the summer, Benzema, along with Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil, were all believed to be wanted by Arsene Wenger. Only Ozil ended up transferring, but considering the booing Benzema is repeatedly subject to, together with reported bust-ups with Pepe and his own struggle to find form, the France international may be offloaded once Real locate a replacement (Luis Suarez, Radamel Falcao).
Benzema has been criticised for not doing his part for the good of the team… his work-rate has come into question. He has declared that he is not a wing-back, that his job is to attack and, 91 goals and 51 assists for Real in 193 appearances in all competitions, it is no surprise that a potential bidding war for his services could begin between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea.
Teams interested: Arsenal, Chelsea
Fabio Coentrao: market value = £16m
Wanted by both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United in the summer, Fabio Coentrao could again be under the transfer spotlight in the January market as David Moyes looks to bolster his options at left back while Andre Villas-Boas looks to continue his rebuilding effort following the record-sale of Gareth Bale in the summer.
The well-traveled defender has had game-time this season, but not much of it, so it is little wonder why he was so enthusiastic over a last minute switch to Old Trafford on deadline-day, early September. However, the move failed due to late paperwork and Coentrao, it is said, was reduced to tears.
Expect interest in Coentrao to resurface in the coming months.
Teams interested: Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur
Sami Khedira: market value = £19.5m
Right now the grass must look greener on the Arsenal pitch than it does at the Bernabeu as Khedira has marveled at the rejuvenation project engineered by Wenger securing the services of Ozil, a player who, Khedira claims, has made the Gunners the best team in the country.
The Arsenal midfield is already saturated with top talent, though. And with more pressing positions to fill, such as a competitor for Olivier Giroud's striking role, a goalkeeping addition and a defensive recruit, midfield may be the last of Wenger's concerns.
Teams interested: Arsenal, Manchester United
Who would you most want to see transfer to England? Would any of the players prove to be a waste of money? Let us know in the comment section below.
image: © jansolo09