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Madrid negotiating the calm before the transfer storm

Barcelona have been making the waves on the transfer front while Madrid seemingly stand idly buy so far this summer. It all points to a calm before the storm as Florentino Perez looks to build a squad capable of dethroning the Catalans.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The saying goes that ‘good things come to those who wait' and Real Madrid fans will be hoping that rings true this summer.

While bitter rivals Barcelona, a club banned by FIFA from registering players until 2016, seemingly take control of this summer's transfer window, Madrid have so far been restricted to paying money for two players they had previously loaned out and splashing the cash, over €30 million of it, on a player many believed the club did not desperately need.

David de Gea has returned to Manchester United for pre-season training when many believed a deal would be signed, sealed and delivered for him to remain in the Spanish capital and join up with his new team-mates when Madrid return for pre-season work this Friday.

The rumour and speculation, usually rife around the Bernabeu at all times of the year, is notably absent. The star names have been few and far between and the pre-season, and the big-money tours, is around the corner. That lack of speculation is particularly noticeable given Madrid are usually especially entrenched in transfer talk on the back of appointing a new coach and after finishing the season without a major trophy - one which saw Barcelona clean up with an historic treble.

In modern football patience is a virtue and that quality is often lacking around Real Madrid, a club and a fan base that demands and expects so much. This summer has been a quiet one so far for Florentino Perez and José Ángel Sánchez, his sidekick on transfer and contract matters, but the summer is still young. The lack of action in the transfer market is not necessarily a bad thing.

That patience, or lack of it, is ramped up with the stories coming out of the Camp Nou. Barcelona have already signed Aleix Vidal from Sevilla and yesterday announced a deal to sign Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid. Paul Pogba looks destined for Catalonia next season, not content with sitting in the stands for six months until the club's FIFA ban is up, with talks with Barca reported to be at an advanced stage. Marco Verratti has also been linked with bolstering Luis Enrique's squad.

Last summer it was the World Cup and this year it is the Barcelona presidential elections muddying the transfer waters. Madrid and Barca often battle alongside each other for the biggest stars and with elections to be won in Catalonia, each candidate is ensuring they have the best players available to back their cause. That has left Madrid, also linked with Verratti and Pogba, watching on but that will not be for much longer with Barca's new president set to be announced in under two weeks' time.

That aside, it is a year to the day that Madrid made their first signing of the previous pre-season. Toni Kroos' move to the Bernabeu was made official on July 7 before James Rodriguez arrived a fortnight later. Madrid are not exactly leaving it late to do their business. If anything, they set off early with announcing the big-money deal for Porto full-back Danilo, as well as bringing Casemiro and Lucas Vazquez back to the capital - however big of a part they may play next season.

Los Blancos are also not afraid to wait until late in the day to get their man. Last season Javier Hernandez arrived at the Bernabeu on transfer deadline day and the year before Tottenham Hotspur ensured they pushed Madrid all the way for Gareth Bale. The London club did the same for Luka Modric a year before but Madrid eventually got what they wanted on both occasions.

Ultimately, Perez is the man who makes the calls but the lack of transfer action, and speculation, could be a pointer towards Rafa Benitez having more of an input into the deals. At the end of the 2013-14 season Carlo Ancelotti went for dinner with Perez to outline the plans for recruitment and the action was swift. This summer brings a new coach with new ideas and reports suggest Benitez had a say in bringing both Casemiro and Vazquez to the club.

Benitez has been back at his family home in Liverpool for much of the summer but that is not to say he has not been working on his plans. A workaholic, the former Napoli and Valencia coach will have been constantly thinking about the forthcoming campaign and when he returns to the Spanish capital to oversee the players' return on Friday he will put those plans in motion, from a tactical point of view and on the transfer front.

This close season has also seen the possible outgoings overshadowing the incomings. Iker Casillas looks set for a move away from the club after 25 years, with Porto reported to be closing in on his signature, while club icon Sergio Ramos is unhappy and has asked for a move to Manchester United. Madrid fans were disappointed to see Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso leave last season but this summer's dealings could for the first time see the departures dominate the arrivals.

Madrid want to get both of those deals right given the importance of both names to the club and that may have put moves for replacements and new additions on the backburner. It has also been a recent trend for Madrid to sell big and buy big of late. Di Maria, Alvaro Morata and Xabi Alonso last summer. Mesut Ozil, Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albion and Jose Callejon the year before. Both summers brought in excess of €100 million into the club coffers, with wages on top, making Madrid, relatively, balance the books.

After last season Perez will be more concerned about giving Benitez a squad capable of wrestling La Liga and the Champions League from Catalonia than balancing the books, but that the club has set an asking price for Ramos, and not ruled out a sale of one of the club's talisman points to more of the same happening this summer.

It may also be true that Madrid already have a squad that is tough to strengthen, as Benitez noted in his presentation. However, with Barcelona building on a treble-winning squad Madrid cannot, and will not, be left behind.

For that, the current lack of activity seems to be the calm before the storm. Few big names have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu but the only surprise this summer would be if Perez did not have a big name up his sleeve to boost the squad and excite a fan base that is largely perplexed at the summer dealings so far.

Expect a domino effect when one big name moves in or out of Madrid in the coming days or weeks. The transfer window is open, the Barcelona presidential elections are weeks away from a conclusion and the pre-season tours are set to commence. The silence form the Bernabeu corridors is deafening but Florentino Perez is readying his megaphone.

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