By Tim Stannard
Real Madrid linked with move for Edinson Cavani and Dele Alli as flat performance against La Real sets off early alarm bells
Struggling to break down a solid and stoic Real Sociedad backline in Real Madrid's season opener on Sunday, Coach Zizou needed some kind of attacking flair, a creative spark to run the show.
Unfortunately, that spark was at Everton, with James Rodriguez running the show in the Premier League after just two matches. Instead, Zidane brought on two young second-team players as support but left a pair of fully-fledged strikers on the bench while the eternal Karim Benzema plodded around up front fruitlessly.
Real Madrid produced just the single shot on target in the first half against La Real and four all game to leave Monday's Spanish media complaining over a flat, threat-free Madrid that was not to dissimilar to the version of the team from last season. Which won the league, to be fair.
This total reliance on Benzema and complete dismissal of Luka Jovic was the big topic for Coach Zizou after the game. "I don't have anything against Jovic or against any player, I just didn't want to change the system and that's why I changed the wingers."
It's entirely possible that Jovic will no longer be a topic of conversation with reports that the Serbian misfiring striker who cost $66 million will be shipped out on loan this week, having scored just two league goals since joining from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer.
With Eden Hazard injured (again), transfer rumors have now linked Edinson Cavani to Real Madrid, a footballer that is currently free as well as the possibility of Dele Alli from Tottenham to join on loan with Jose Mourinho having admitted that there is an overbooking of attacking players at Spurs. The English playmaker has also been linked with a move to PSG.
The new look Monday Night Soccer show will break down what went wrong for Real Madrid at 9:30PM ET as part of a full night of weekend highlights, analysis and reaction.
Luis Suarez linked with Atletico swap as Vidal moves to Inter
By wonderful coincidence, Cavani is not only story in Monday's musings about a Uruguayan striker in his thirties joining a club in Madrid.
That's because there is a new twist in the Luis Suarez saga. The Juventus move appears to be 100% off the cards for the Barcelona striker. Those were the words of Juve boss, Andre Pirlo who noted on Saturday that "it takes a long time to obtain an Italian passport, so it’s unlikely Suarez can be Juve’s centre-forward."
So that leads Suarez to a new path - Atletico Madrid. That's the claim of Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo, which is reporting that the Rojiblancos have been working on the move behind the scenes and are waiting for Suarez to disengage himself from Barca and for Diego Costa to be shipped out to make room.
Elsewhere, Arturo Vidal's move to Inter Milan is expected to be confirmed on Monday with the Chilean midfielder having a medical on Monday in Italy. Nelson Semedo is being linked in a $40 million move to the natural home for Portuguese players - Wolves.
Barcelona's LaLiga season gets underway on Sunday at 3PM ET with an opening clash against Villarreal.