Real Madrid Transfers: Oh great, another attacking midfield rumor

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Even as Real Madrid fans stir amidst the uncertainty surrounding Martin Ødegaard’s future for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, the rumor mill hasn’t stopped spinning its wheels by linking Los Blancos to yet another young attacking midfielder.

In this difficult economic situation, Los Merengues have eyes on several positions of need heading into the summer 2021 transfer window, which is the only time Florentino Perez can realistically bolster Zinedine Zidane’s shaky squad. A goal-scoring forward is needed, as is more depth in midfield. And Zidane wouldn’t say no to another defender either, though they may have already secured David Alaba for him.

Last summer, Real Madrid made no signings, with the exception of Martin Ødegaard, who returned on loan from Real Sociedad at Zidane’s request. But since Odegaard has played just five minutes since the start of December and has requested a loan move this winter, you would be forgiven for thinking Zidane wasn’t the one who wanted Ødegaard back.

Even as Ødegaard has found it difficult to get a sniff of playing time, Real Madrid have been linked to Inter Milan’s Nicolò Barella. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Luigi Garlando (report in Italian), Los Blancos started showing interest in Barella when the Serie A breakout star had a delightful backheel assist against them in the Champions League at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Nicolò Barella is very talented, but he is not Real Madrid’s man

Make no mistake, Barella is a very talented player and is worth being on Real’s radar. He finished off a counterattack with aplomb in the Derby d’Italia this past weekend, too, to seal Inter’s 2-0 victory over Juventus. As a whole, the 23-year-old has registered five assists in Serie A.

The reason for my eye roll at the rumor is simple. Ødegaard. Why would Real Madrid think of any attacking midfielder other than Ødegaard? Last summer, Kai Havertz was the flavor of the week, but you could forgive Zidane for any interest in the German playmaker due to his success at Bayer Leverkusen. Though as we are seeing with his performances at Chelsea, young players will have an adjustment period.

Which brings me to Ødegaard, who hasn’t even been given enough playing time to get through the adjustment period.

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Here’s what I would make of the Nicolò Barella rumor. It is a little sprinkle of sugar in your coffee or an extra dash of salt in your soup. While it may not be nothing, it means very little. Real Madrid do their due diligence on the transfer market and do not turn their nose completely at any young talent. Barella may have piqued their interest in some small way, but he belongs with Inter. Ødegaard is our man, whether Zidane admits it or not.