With Real Madrid's last competitive game having taken place over a month ago and with three weeks having passed since eternal rival Barcelona took home the 2015 Champions League trophy, fans of the former have been anxious as they await the reinforcements they feel will be necessary to bring this club back to the summit of European football. On the shortlist of necessities going into the transfer period was a goalkeeper, rightback to take Alvaro Arbeloa's spot, a leftback to replace Fabio Coentrao, at least one midfielder (preferably of the defensive variety) and one more attacker/backup striker. Of these, two have definitely been added and, depending on if your glass is half full, two more could be more or less done deals ready to be confirmed. However, fans online are making their discomfort with the club's transfer pace known, but should they be worried?
It's easy to look at a club such as Champions League runner-up Juventus and the early deals they've made for players such as Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira and to be envious of how proactive they've been. After all, Real Madrid should look back to the summer of 2013 when Gareth Bale joined in the nick of time and had virtually no preseason with his new club. He went into the season carrying an injury and clearly needed a few weeks to get up to speed. There's something to be said about quickly and efficiently plugging a roster's holes in time for the new members to join the preseason tour and become acclimated with their new teammates and staff. Additionally, completing business early and without unnecessary media fanfare is smart from a financial perspective as the more hype a transfer generates the higher the purchase price could be. Paul Pogba is seemingly an example of this as rumored prices for his services have been steadily rising not only since the end of the most recent season but since last summer. With more media attention and more clubs joining the fray as the summer goes on, the implied reliance on the transfer target and his price swells to proportions which could have potentially been avoided had the clubs interested acted faster.
However, Real Madrid often seems to be the exception to these rules. As this is a club with very deep pockets, it's not unnatural for selling clubs to try and hold out as long as they can in order to get the maximum amount of money, as we saw with the Bale transfer saga. Manchester United, current employers of Real Madrid transfer target David De Gea, is not a selling club or a club in need of money by any means. However, they know that the club interested in their player can afford to pay exorbitant prices even for someone in the last year of his contract. This is not a new phenomenon either, last summer Mattia Perin's agent stated that his client could be had for €10-12 million but if Madrid came calling that price would be €25 million. There is probably no doubt that the club would like to complete its business early, but it's the nature of the beast that negotiations will drag out for weeks, especially with massive names being bandied around and not depth options from provincial sides.
Transfers often also necessitate the inclusion of a third or fourth party. Take, for example, De Gea's potential transfer. It's easy to think that Real Madrid sends Manchester United money and the player goes the other way, but then who does Manchester United replace him with? Surely they would like to have a replacement in the works or already confirmed, such as Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris, for example, with said search potentially holding up Real Madrid's end of the deal. Again, this is no fault of Real Madrid but rather the circumstances surrounding the transfer market. Madrid can push for the deal to be completed as fast as possible but if the second party doesn't move until the third party agrees to a transfer, little can be done.
The rules of the transfer period can also extend to internal roster dealings. Fans of Real Madrid have become increasingly restless in regards to the Sergio Ramos contract extension talks and as to why the club has not tied down its co-captain to a new deal yet. Though it's not always the case, this club generally tries to adhere to a policy of not discussing contract extensions until two years before the extension date. Some deals have been announced ahead of time and some, like Cristiano Ronaldo's most recent extension, have come late in the summer. What's important to remember regarding Ramos is that the player is still on his allowed vacation and that should the club look to sell him, the transfer window has not even opened yet. The summer is still quite young and there is still plenty of time to iron out any details before the club leaves on its international preseason tour.
Overall, this roster is in fairly decent shape in terms of needs and the business that it has done so far. Danilo and Casemiro are done deals and both address what many consider to be pretty important needs. Denis Cheryshev's loan has come to an end and he could be either sold or used as the bench attacker that some have desired. There is even talk that Lucas Vazquez could return for €1m to serve as a versatile bench player should the club pass on signing a big name offensive weapon. What's left is a starting goalkeeper, a backup leftback and potentially a backup striker. Should De Gea not be an option anymore, perhaps Keylor Navas will get his chance to shine or Bernd Leno could serve as the more affordable alternative. Leftback is a conundrum, but options such as Jetro Willems and Abdul Rahman Baba are still out there. Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo could both serve as striker so it's not unfathomable that this position will go undressed. Again, these are roles to addressed but none of them are gaping holes in the roster.
Though it may seem as if the summer is descending into chaos and the club is dragging its feet, fans should remain even-keeled as the summer transfer window still has over two full months of activity planned. This club, despite a disappointing amount of trophies won this season, does not have significant roster holes on its hand and has already taken steps to reinforce the roster. With one or two more additions, plus sorting out the loan destinations for a couple promising youngsters, business should be resolved with time left for the squad to work on any new details that a new coaching staff will like to include. It's hard to see potential targets leave for new lands or commit themselves to their current clubs, but patience should be exhibited as this club seeks to fill the non-major roster deficiencies it might have.