Real Madrid, they say, are still looking for a star to help their fans out of a depression which was caused by seeing the starts of recent years -- Zidane and Ronaldo -- leave Florentino Perez in the lurch.
The Madrid president has still not reacted and is still looking in desperation for a crack signing to excite a support who, in the first week of the season, failed to fill Bernabeu for the opening game of the season against Getafe (less than 50,000 were in attendance).
Coach Julen Lopetegui is watching the days pass. There's no backup for the frontline formed by Gareth Bale (prone to injuries), Karim Benzema (out of goal scoring form) and Marco Asensio. Borja Mayoral is the first candidate to fill in, an academy product given the club's big hope and investment looks set to play for Castilla, the B team.
Let me explain. Madrid paid a fortune to sign Vinicius, aroun 40 million euros, a Brazilian starlet sold as the new Neymar. But he's not in Lopetegui's immediate plans. He did not play in the European Super Cup, nor did he play against Getafe, despite Madid being 2-0 up. Now, he looks set to drop down to the second team to play games, where it won't be easy to show his quality against opposition that may target him.
It seems the only depth Madrid have is in goal and at right-back. Keylor Navas and Thibaut Courtois will compete for the gloves, while Odriozola will provide competition for Dani Carvajal. Courtois and Odriozola cost more than 70 million euros, the former will eventually take Navas' place and the latter will fill in when necessary.
That's not a lot of depth for a club hoping to compete in three competitions (league, cup and Europe)... although last season they threw two (league and cup) to focus on Europe. It worked out well but this year they don't have their star player nor their coach.