These three Premier League stars could be on Real Madrid's January shopping list

Rafa Benitez 02

Key players from Liverpool, Everton and Leicester City could all be on wounded Real Madrid's January shopping list.

Los Blancos are still reeling from their 4-0 humiliation at home to arch rivals Barcelona in El Clasico at the weekend.

The match, and the fact it extended Barca's lead over third-placed Real to six points, has led to intense speculation over the future of manager Rafa Benitez.

But following a board meeting on Monday, club president Florentino Perez insisted the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss has their full backing, as reported by the BBC (

Perez said: "He has all our support and confidence."

Calls to back Benitez with signings

With that in mind, there have been calls for the board to seriously back Benitez in the forthcoming January transfer window.

And he could turn to his former stomping ground the Premier League to freshen up his side by targeting three star performers from Liverpool, Everton and Leicester.

Two of those players are already well known to the Spaniard who will be desperately hoping his homecoming is not cut short leaving him another Madrid statistic.

Phillippe Coutinho

Coutinho has been one of the stars of the Premier League season so far, highlighted by his man of the match performance in Liverpool's 4-1 thrashing of Manchester City at the weekend.

Madrid's attack has looked somewhat stale in recent weeks with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema not hitting their usual heights.

Coutinho could be just the magic spark the Bernebeau side need and he is a player Benitez knows well.

While manager of Inter Milan back in 2010, Benitez made Coutinho one of his first signings describing him at the time a "the future of Inter."

But he actually turned out to the the future of Benitez's old club Liverpool and signed a new long contract as recently as February so Real would have to break the bank or offer a prestige player in exchange to tempt the Anfield side into selling. A marquee signing like Coutinho would be just what Los Blancos needs.

Will it happen? Unlikely but big money or a big player in exchange could start a conversation

Romelu Lukaku

The big striker is one of the hottest properties in Europe and Everton know they are lucky to have him. He has already netted nine goals in 13 games so far this season - one off his tally for the whole of last season - and his pace, power and finishing ability may be just what Madrid need to freshen up their attack.

Everton spent a club record £28 million on the Belgian powerhouse to take him from Chelsea last summer as they set their sights on competing for the Champions League places.

That has not materialised and does not look a realistic prospect, though, and should Madrid offer the Toffees a profit and Lukaku the chance to play for one of the world's biggest clubs it could suit all parties.

Lukaku is another well known to Benitez who managed Chelsea between 2012 and 2013. The striker was on loan at West Bromich Albion from the Blues back then plundering 17 goals and leaving the manager ruing the decision to loan him out for the season.

Will it happen? Very possibly

Jamie Vardy

The Premier League's top scorer has quite literally fired unlikely leaders Leicester City to the top of the table with his record-equalling 10 goals in consecutive games.

The England striker's rise from non-league to his current heady heights is well documented. But his career could be about to sky rocket further still if Madrid do follow through on speculation they are interested in signing him.

Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has admitted they would not stand in Vardy's way, as reported by the Mirror.

And Vardy has previously admitted he has ambitions to push himself as far as he possibly can.

His blistering pace and unerringy finishing ability would give Madrid a new dimension.

The way Vardy he plays on the last defender could actually suit the Spanish style where strikers may only get one or two chances a game after long spells of patient build up.

He could probably be acquired for relatively small money compared to the other two and it would certainly enhance his chances of pressing for a starting spot in England's Euro 2016 side if he does move to Madrid.

Will it happen? Quite easily

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