Real Madrid transfer targets for summer 2023: Only a matter of time before Mbappe signs?

Real Madrid are a club known for its calculated and pragmatic investments in the transfer market. While numerous clubs struggled to attain financial equilibrium following the pandemic period, Los Blancos remained unchallenged and maintained their growth trajectory with minimal dents.

The departures of Karim Benzema, Mariano Diaz, Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio have created an additional void in the squad and this season's summer transfer window will be the one in which Real Madrid will have to invest to secure their future and provide the necessary impetus to their team.

Here are the players Real Madrid will target in the next few days to fulfil the positions that require amplification.

Joao Cancelo

real madrid transfer target joao cancelo
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As Bayern Munich won't be buying Joao Cancelo from Manchester City, the Portuguese will again have to find newer pastures. Dani Carvajal is the only natural right-back available to Real Madrid and they will need to add an option there. While Nacho and Lucas Vasquez have covered, to achieve certain heights, a natural right full-back like Joao Cancelo is desirable.

The player will only go for a top side and he makes the case for Real Madrid. It is up to the 14-time European champions to make a decision about Cancelo before another club swoops in.
Cancelo was given the number 7 jersey ahead of the start of the last season for Manchester City. The decision was due to him providing the correct attacking impetus throughout the 2021/22 season that ultimately helped City retain the Premier League title.

While he rarely got the chance to show his advanced role for Pep Guardiola, the right-back continued his upward trajectory with Bayern.

VERDICT: A perfect and economical solution for Real Madrid to reinforce their right flank, Joao Cancelo's profile suits them perfectly.

Reece James

Chelsea’s team captain has been plagued by injuries throughout these couple of seasons. However, you have to admit that when James is fit, he’s an unstoppable force on the wing. The 23-year-old wing-back had a solid pre-season with the Blues from London but sadly sustained another minor injury during a Chelsea training session.

However, Los Blancos are preparing a can’t-say-no-to deal for the talented defender. American businessman Todd Boehly has to sell a couple of players in order to keep the team financially stable, so it would most likely come down to Reece James to make the final call.

Following on from previous interest in the 23-year-old, Florentino Perez is keen on signing the Chelsea defender, as he’s definitely one for the future. However, the club-to-club negotiations will be intense, as James is Chelsea’s captain, and his current market value is at a whopping €65m. Real Madrid haven’t spent a lavish amount of money in recent years on single transfers, so it would be interesting to see if Los Blancos will pay the price to have James on their roster.

James missed a solid chunk of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, as his team slumped to a record-low of 12th place. He’ll soon make a return to regular football, and seeing as defender-in-chief Eder Militao sustained a long-term injury, we just might see James boost Real Madrid’s ranks sooner rather than later.

Gabriel Magalhaes

Gabriel Magalhaes Transfer
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Eder Militao’s injury really ruined coach Carlo Ancelotti’s transfer plans this year. He was hoping to poach World Cup champion Kylian Mbappe with an alluring offer at the end of the summer transfer window but all of that is about to change, as Los Blancos desperately need strengthening at the back.

It seems that Gabriel Magalhaes is on Florentino Perez’s mind these days, as the Arsenal defender has been in top-notch condition throughout these past three seasons. His 2022/23 display was particularly pleasing, as Gunners were a couple of steps away from winning the Premier League, and Gabriel Magalhaes certainly helped a lot.

Surprisingly, Magalhaes hasn’t been a key part of coach Mikel Arteta’s plans this season, and this might have something to do with the fact that Real Madrid are showing an interest in the 25-year-old Brazilian.

Currently, Gabriel Magalhaes has a market value of €55m. He has the potential to be a lot cheaper than Reece James, which gets him closer to Estadio Bernabeu. However, Arteta said that despite seemingly being a backup this season, Magalhaes is still a vital part of the team and he helped Gunners win both Premier League games, coming from the bench.

Furthermore, rumors have it that Gabriel Magalhaes is happy to stay in London, and he’s eager to help coach Arteta challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this year. If Real Madrid truly want to have the defender at their disposal, they’ll have to provide Arsenal and Magalhaes himself with irresistible offers.

Dusan Vlahovic – Juventus

This news is fresh out of the can concerning Real Madrid potentially inking Dusan Vlahovic before the summer is out. Essentially, he is rumoured to be the preferred signing if Madrid is unable to secure Kylian Mbappe, which is a big ‘if’ at the moment. After all, due to the departure of Karim Benzema to Saudi Arabia earlier this summer, Real Madrid doesn’t technically have a solid number 9. This would be somewhat of a disaster if they tried to pursue a La Liga or even a Champions League title without a star striker in their ranks.

Of course, Vlahovic might not be as prolific as guys like Benzema or Mbappe for the moment. Yet at 23 years of age, he has plenty of time to grow and develop his skills, and physically – the guy is a beast.  

Nicolò Barella – Inter Milan

Nicolò Barella is reportedly one of the Real Madrid transfer targets that the club wishes to bag before the end of August. He has only landed on the radar of the Spanish giants recently, yet he would be a great signing to bolster the midfield ranks. With this said, Inter Milan reportedly wants €80 million for the Italian midfielder, which Madrid can afford. Yet whether they then determine that Barella is worth that kind of money is another story. Currently, such a move is up in the air, but Real Madrid will certainly be aware that Luka Modric, their main man in midfield, is out of contract at the end of next season.

Therefore, the addition of Nicolò Barella seems like a smart move, as he would slot in nicely. At the same time, he’s just 26 years of age, so Real Madrid could get five years or more out of Barella at a time when he should be reaching his peak.

Kylian Mbappe

kylian mbappe
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If Mbappe is to be added to the Real Madrid squad in time for the 23/24 season, the club will need to move swiftly. Then again, Mbappe is most certainly the biggest of Real Madrid’s transfer targets right now. But according to recent reports, PSG is asking for a €200 million transfer fee, which Madrid must meet to grab arguably the best striker in the world at the moment. With this said, it’s not just the €200 million transfer fee that makes this a rather eye-popping deal. In addition to the €200 million transfer, Mbappe will require a pretty hefty salary, with possible bonuses paid on top too.

And since Real Madrid has recently signed Jude Bellingham for a fee of €103 million, one must wonder whether Madrid will dig deep enough into their pockets to make this deal happen. They certainly do have the money to do so after keeping spending to a minimum in recent seasons. However, whether they jump on board and put forward an offer is still an unknown element of this potential deal. 

Yet there is one thing that pundits keep coming back to. According to the latest rumours, PSG is under the impression that Mbappe has already made a ‘secretive’ deal with Madrid. At the same time, Mbappe failed to honour the ultimatum he was given in July. This ultimatum was to sign a new contract or face a guaranteed sale before the transfer window was over.


With a host of names ranging from Karim Adeyemi to Kolo Muani linked to Real Madrid this summer, the club knows to do business better than any club in Europe. This is why they are the best in every competition they play and this has been the tradition for a long time. Two-and-half months are still left for Real Madrid's managerial team and Florentino Perez to identify their weaknesses and bring in new talent within their ranks. We are surely going to see at least a big name come to Madrid soon!

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.