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Transfer Rater: Balotelli to West Ham

Football Whispers
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez vows to strengthen 'with magnificent players'

ESPN FC's Stewart Robson explains why Real Madrid should explore other options before making Gareth Bale the focal point of the team.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says the club will make some big signings during the transfer window, insisting "our great squad will be strengthened with magnificent players."

Madrid have not made a major signing since James Rodriguez arrived after the 2014 World Cup and have actually made a profit on transfers through recent summers, with their most recent accounts showing a "cash balance" of €178 million -- even before Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus for €105m earlier this week.

Paris Saint-Germain duo Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, along with Chelsea's Eden Hazard, have been linked -- with the latest reports suggesting that Belgium international Hazard is the most likely to arrive.

Speaking as new right-back Alvaro Odriozola was presented on Wednesday, Perez referenced the club having won the last three Champions League titles before suggesting that the squad would be further added to.

"We are aware of the level of demands which this team is subject to," Perez said. "We are Madrid and we always want more. We must strengthen the present and the future. This is a great squad and it will be strengthened with magnificent players."

French outlet RMC has claimed that Hazard has a verbal agreement with Madrid, although no deal has been reached with Chelsea. Teammate Thibaut Courtois is also reported to be close to a €35m switch to the Bernabeu.

Florentino Perez has vowed that Real Madrid will strengthen.
Florentino Perez has vowed that Real Madrid will strengthen.

Mbappe said after winning the World Cup with France that he was 100 percent staying at PSG, while El Pais reports that Neymar's father has told the Ligue 1 side's Qatari owners that the family want no more upheaval following a disappointing World Cup with Brazil this summer.

Madrid have spent around €40 million on former Real Sociedad defender Odriozola, 22, an unused squad member with Spain at the World Cup. Some reports had claimed that Barcelona also approached the Basque youngster, who Perez said had made the right decision in moving to his club.

"A top player is arriving, who many other clubs wanted," he said. "But [Odriozola] was very clear where he wanted to play. Thank you for choosing Real Madrid, you have shown your winner's DNA by choosing the most demanding club."

New Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui this week said he expected some "tweaks" ahead of the 2018-19 season, with younger squad members including Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente and Borja Mayoral possibly moving elsewhere to gain more experience next year.

The futures of Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic are also uncertain, with both having spoken publicly this summer about moving on in search of more playing time.

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