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Notes & Quotes: March 12, 2019; Open Thread

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Ramos posts social media thread on controversies, Zidane addresses his return, and predictions already circling how Real will line up next season

Real Madrid Unveil New Manager Zinedine Zidane Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ramos

Sergio Ramos took to Twitter and created a thread of comments under the embedded tweet in which he addressed several of the controversies surrounding him the last few weeks including: the Ajax yellow card, filming a documentary during the second leg, and even if he had a dispute with Marcelo.

Ramos did a fine enough job here of addressing the issues that have plagued him and the club as a whole. The deliberate yellow card against Ajax in the first leg really did hurt when the captain wasn’t able to be on the pitch for a crucial second leg. Perhaps the scoreline wouldn’t have been different, but it will make fans wonder what would’ve happened had Ramos been available with how well he was playing prior.

Given that he is the captain and he took an unnecessary suspension ahead of a crucial match, Ramos has obviously has taken his fair share of the blame. Hopefully this has been a bit of a learning experience for him, as strange as it is to say about a veteran of the game. However, the club needs its captain to answer the hard questions and move forward with positivity through turmoil.

Zidane addresses his return to the club

Zinedine Zidane is back as manager of Real Madrid, in case this is news to anyone. There’s an air around the club that really hasn’t been present all season in terms of anticipation for the coming summer and following season. Zizou addressed his return in his press conference on Monday.

“I have been living here in Madrid, doing my things. But I have recharged my batteries. I’m ready to coach this great club again.”

“When I left it was the best decision for everyone. The team and the squad needed a change. There is nothing more, nine months passed and the club called me again.”

“Last season we won the Champions League, but we had a tough time in the Copa and in LaLiga. I did a lot of things wrong.”

“When you win a lot, it’s normal that you have a dip. I watched from outside but it’s as if I was still here.”

“I am not happy with what has happened. We need to look at what is missing. First we need to look at what we need now, and after that, what we need for the coming season.”

Obviously, the speculation from various pundits that has been surrounding Zidane’s departure prior to this season was that he saw a problem forthcoming with Ronaldo leaving and no replacement at the ready. He then saw this as his time to leave the club.

Regardless of why he actually left, having Zidane back is huge. Lopetegui and Solari just couldn’t get the job done, though it’s not as if Real spent any significant money outside of Vinicius, Rodrygo, and Courtois. Followed by some cheaper signings like Odriozola, Mariano, and Brahim. Between the three only Vinicius has been a factor this season, though that was a pleasant surprise that the 18 year old was this ready.

It’s hard to say what will happen under Zidane going forward, but much speculation is that he was convinced to come back because Perez has given him the green light to spend this summer.

Whatever happens, there is optimism under Zidane now, more so than there has been all season. There is much to look forward after heartbreak that last few weeks.

Speculative lineups for next season are already being kicked around the media

With the rumors of Zidane having money to spend this summer, various outlets have already speculated who may join Real Madrid. The names have varied from Eden Hazard, to Kylian Mbappe, even to Christian Eriksen.

talkSPORT has already mapped out several lineup options that could happen under Zidane if he has his way with signings. They did several different scenarios that show Neymar and N’Golo Kante among the aforementioned rumors. They include rumors that Zidane has been promised three big signings this summer.

However true any of this is, right now it’s all rumors and theorizing by the media and fans. If I were a betting man, the idea of Zidane returning because of a promise to control the transfers of the team and getting big money from Perez is probably likely.

If there are likely candidates to join, I would put money on Hazard as the most likely. Not just because he has been repeatedly linked, but because he clearly has interest in joining with all the comments he has made this season when asked about the rumors. Real clearly have some interest towards bringing him in as well as they do need a Ronaldo replacement on the left side, even as good as Vinicius was prior to injury. The only holdup here is what happens with Chelsea’s transfer ban over the summer, FIFA will look again at their appeal prior to the summer deadline according to reports.

Mbappe is a dream transfer if it happens, though it would be actually surprising if PSG let him go. The same goes for Neymar with how highly PSG’s owners praise both. I would put very little stock in believing Chelsea lets Kante go.

Christian Eriksen is a rather interesting name that’s appeared around Real recently. He’s a phenomenal player, underrated for much of his career, and he’s been essential for Tottenham. One rumor was a swap of Bale for Eriksen, which as much as I love Bale I would do in a heartbeat. I just don’t see a swap deal happening, in fact I think Eriksen ends up staying with Spurs.

Whoever Zidane chooses to pursue and hopefully gets, we’ll be seeing many rumors leading into the summer window until then. I would assume they’ll get at least one (again, money on Hazard), lest there be a riot amongst the fanbase if the club refuses to spend.