Real Madrid Femenino have already secured a place in the UEFA Women’s Champions League for the next season, with their next game against Primera Iberdrola champions Barcelona Femení in the semi-final of the Copa de la Reina on Wednesday.
While Las Blancas will hope to reach their first-ever Copa de la Reina final with their first-ever win over their arch-rivals, the attention has already turned towards the next season, and there are several names already linked to a move to Madrid in the summer.
Let’s take a look at every player that has been rumored to be on Real Madrid Femenino’s radar since the start of the season.
Jenni Hermoso (Striker, Barcelona)
The greatest goal scorer in Spanish Women’s football and Barcelona Femení history, Jenni Hermoso would be a welcome addition to Real Madrid Femenino.
The 32-year-old’s contract expires with Barcelona in June 2022, and according to Mayca Jiménez of AS, Las Blancas might swoop in for the striker. Hermoso was the top scorer in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in the 2020-21 season, where the Blaugranes won the treble. She also finished second in the Women’s Ballon d’Or rankings in 2021.
However, as much as we would love to have a Champions League winner at Real Madrid Femenino, it seems like Hermoso will stay at Barcelona.
“We’ve had some conversations with Madrid before, but it’s never gone further. I’ve always felt Barça at home,” said Hermoso in an interview with SER Catalunya in January.
Laia Aleixandri (Center-Back, Atlético Madrid)
Per that same report by Mayca Jiménez, Real Madrid Femenino were monitoring Laia Aleixandri, who is a 21-year-old centre-back playing for Atlético Madrid Femenino.
Aleixandri has played 140 games for the club, winning the Primera Iberdrola twice (2017-18, 2018-19) and the Supercopa Feminina in 2020-21. The young defender has eight caps with the Spanish national team, while being pretty successful at the age-group levels too.
Aleixandri’s contract ends in June 2022, and has been recently linked with Manchester City Women, so it remains to be seen if Real Madrid Femenino will be in the race for the player.
Tessa Wullaert (Striker, RSC Anderlecht)
“There have been contacts with Atlético and Real (Madrid), but who knows. It will depend on whether we reach an agreement with a team, but I would like to play in Spain,” Wullaert, Anderlecht’s goal machine, told AS in April.
The 29-year-old has scored 62 league goals in 42 games (according to stats on globalsportsarchives.com) for Anderlecht. Wullaert is also on a red-hot goalscoring streak for Belgium Women, scoring 15 goals in 8 games during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 UEFA Qualifiers, more than anyone else.
Wullaert has the experience of playing for Manchester City Women and VfL Wolfsburg Women, reaching UWCL final twice with the latter. While Real Madrid already has the likes of Nahikari García and Esther González (who finished as the team’s top scorer this season), adding Wullaert to the mix would be interesting. She has expressed her desire to play in Spain very clearly, and would certainly be a good addition to the current squad as she is a consistent goalscorer.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Striker, Paris Saint-Germain)
You’d be surprised by the number of strikers Real Madrid Femenino are going after, but that’s just how it is. They want to add a superstar #9 to their ranks, someone who can bolster the forwardline immediately and play at the highest level for years to come. PSG’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto is ‘the’ player who fits those requirements perfectly.
A world-class striker, and one of the best in the business when it comes to goalscoring, Katoto became PSG’s highest goalscorer in history at just 23 years old. She has 98 goals and 26 assists in just 96 league games, quite incredible numbers for someone so young, especially when you consider the fact that those numbers have been produced in one of the toughest women’s leagues in the world.
RMC Sport’s Anthony Rech reported in March that Katoto - whose contract with PSG ends in June - wanted a way out owing to the attack on fellow PSG teammate Kheira Hamraoui by two masked men while she was returning home from dinner.
PSG have tried to renew Katoto’s contract, but Katoto is open to try pastures new.
“There are many reasons why we are not in agreement,” Katoto told French media outlet AFP. “I’m open to anything, whether that be abroad or in France. There’s a lot of discussions [with interested clubs], a lot of considerations and I thank them for it. I didn’t think there would be so many.
“I’m very open, for now the discussions are going well, very well even. The next choice I make will be the right one I hope. It will be an important moment in my career.”
Let’s hope Real Madrid Femenino win the race for her signature because she can help secure the #9 position for the next 8-10 years.
Caroline Weir (Central Midfielder), Lucy Bronze (Right Back), Keira Walsh (Defensive Midfielder) (Manchester City)
The highly-talented trio of Weir, Walsh, and Bronze are already among the priorities on Las Blancas’ shopping list for the next season.
Caroline Weir, as reported by The Telegraph’s Tom Garry, is almost confirmed to be a Real Madrid player next season. The official announcement, according to the same report, will not be out until later this summer.
Weir would be arriving on a free transfer as her contract with the FA WSL outfit expires in the summer. The 26-year-old is a fantastic attacking midfielder who can also play as a forward at times. In a Real Madrid Femenino midfield that doesn’t produce many goals, Weir would be a breath of fresh air as she’s got an eye for goal, especially from distance.
To introduce Lucy Bronze, I will tell you that she is among the best right backs in the world. Not only is she a brilliant defender, but is also a threat to opposition defences when she does charge towards the final third. The 30-year-old Englishwoman could be a solid competition for Kenti Robles. However, the right back has been linked with a move to the National Women’s Super League (NWSL, United States’ top flight), so let’s see how it goes in the coming weeks. She would also arrive on a free,
Keira Walsh is a defensive midfielder who plays as a single-pivot for Manchester City Women. Walsh signed a three-year extension with City in 2020 which would keep her at the club till the end of the 2022-23 season, so Real Madrid will have to pay a few, probably a few hundred thousand euros, to acquire Walsh’s service.
Is she worth the money? Absolutely. No one has a higher passing success rate than Walsh in the WSL in the last one year, according to FBRef. And even though she’s a defensive midfielder, one should watch out for her playmaking pyrotechnics.
Real Madrid Femenino have wanted to buy a defensive midfielder for some time now. Tom Garry tweeted in November 2021 that the club was after Swedish defensive midfielder Freja Olofsson, offering Racing Louisville a sum of €100k for her signing. While that signing couldn’t materialize, let’s hope the club can get Walsh because 1) she’s a huge upgrade over Olofsson, with all due respect and, 2) she’s a wonderful player, and one who will provide a lot of balance to the team’s midfield.
Kathellen Sousa (Center-Back, Inter Women)
A player who could have joined CD Tacón (as Real Madrid Femenino was known during the 2019-20 season) in 2019 has been rumored to join Las Blancas this summer.
In a report from MARCA’s David Benayo, which also stated that club will look to sign Levante’s Sandie Toletti and PSG’s Naomie Feller, it was mentioned that the Brazilian centre-back will be brought on to fill the void left by Babett Peter, who will be retiring from all of football after an illustrious career (thank you for everything, Babett!).
Sousa is one of the tallest women centre-backs around at six-feet tall, so she would definitely bring some sort of X-Factor in the heart of the defence. Her contract with Inter ends in June, so she’ll be signed for free.
Sandie Toletti (Central Midfielder, Levante)
One of the best midfielders in the league, Toletti already had a pre-agreement with Real Madrid Femenino subject to the team’s qualification to the UEFA Women’s Champions League next season. Now that a spot has been secured, the transfer can be expected to complete in the coming weeks. Her contract with Levante expires on June 30.
Toletti is known for her vision and passing range, as well as her adaptability to thrive in different roles in midfield. That sort of versatility, in addition to her familiarity with Primera Iberdrola, would be a huge boost to Real Madrid Femenino’s shallow midfield.
Naomie Feller (Striker, Paris Saint-Germain)
Touted by UEFA as one of the players to watch in 2022, the promising striker is looked at by the club as someone who could play a part in both the present and future of the club, similar to Katoto.
She possesses the ability to play in several positions in attack, which is certainly an exciting prospect for Las Blancas, not to mention her breathtaking speed. She is one of the quickest young players in Europe.
She has to work on her productivity since she hasn’t managed to score a lot of goals. But considering that she’s just 20, Real Madrid Femenino might be willing to bet on the player who is believed to have a bright future ahead of herself.
Adriana Leon (Winger, West Ham United)
Real Madrid got linked to this player when David Ornstein of The Athletic stated in one of his columns that Madrid had turned their attention to Canadian international Adriana Leon.
On top of that, an article by The Sun claimed that Leon was being monitored by Real Madrid Femenino, Barcelona Femení, and another English club as the player ran her contract down with the club. Meanwhile, West Ham Women offered her a two-year extension.
As stated by Om Arvind in his article last week, this rumor doesn’t make any sense. The player is not that sought after, plus the interest for Barcelona makes it harder to believe the reports. But for the timing of this news to coincide with the shocking revelation made by journalist Carlos Alvarez on Twitter made some sense:
Atleti junto a Cardona. 98%— Carlos Alvarez (@CarlosTuilla) May 16, 2022
Barbra Banda (Striker, Shanghai Shengli Women)
Oscar Moya Torrente has reported that that Real Madrid have also made contacts with Zambian forward Barbara Banda, who plays in the Chinese League. Managing Madrid has received similar information and has heard that these links will be reported on by other journalists tomorrow.
As for Banda, she is a powerful striker who is good at finishing, good at heading, has good movement off the ball, possesses very good speed, and is a physically astute forward. She is the first female player in Olympics history to score two hat-tricks in one tournament, and also the first female player to score back-to-back Olympics hat-tricks. She also has 22 goals with the Zambian women’s national team.
We will be reporting more about Barbra Banda’s potential transfer to Real Madrid Femenino as and when more details emerge.
That’s about it with this transfer rumor roundup. Hope you all enjoyed reading this article. Which players would you want/wouldn’t want to see at Real Madrid next season?