Real Madrid are undergoing a radical change in guard right now.
The ‘old guard’ that helped them win five Champions League titles in the last 10 years is in its last legs.
They sold their midfield general – Casemiro – to Manchester United in the summer to shock everyone.
But in general, that was a statement that Florentino Perez is eyeing major changes in how his squad looks in the next year or so.
Toni Kroos is expected to leave Santiago Bernabeu after his contract expires in 2023. Luka Modric is also likely to follow suit.
That would mark the end of the famous Casemiro-Kroos-Modric midfield trio that earned the reputation of being the best of all time.
Los Blancos already splashed €100m to sign Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco this year. They also signed Eduardo Camavinga to bolster their midfield last year.
Fede Valverde seems to have evolved into their most prolific midfielder this season and is taking his role as their midfield general very seriously.
Despite having such a rich variety of midfielders, the La Liga side still doesn’t seem happy.
As per Spanish outlet Relevo, they are now eyeing a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham next season.
The Englishman could be on the market next year and Madrid wants first dibs on him.
But Perez himself isn’t pursuing this operation. He’s handed the keys for it to Juni Calafat, who is the club’s chief scout.
Los Blancos have reportedly increased the contacts with Bellingham’s entourage in recent months in an attempt to attract and convince him to join them next year.
Now, it’s up to Calafat himself to ensure that Madrid are able to beat out competition from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United for the 19-year-old midfielder.
The Brazilian director has been working for the Spanish giants since 2014 and has been heavily involved in some of their major signings since then.
Described as a ‘football madman’ by those around him, the 49-year-old is a tireless worker who has earned a massive reputation in the football scouting world.
He has his own team of international scouts who help him make scouting reports and keep an eye on every single player who could be of Real’s interest in future.
Calafat’s main area of operation is South America, the continent he was born in.
He had played a major role in helping Real Madrid sign Vinicius Jr in 2017, travelling to Brazil more than 10 times to scout him and take part in transfer negotiations himself.
He compelled Vinicius to choose Madrid over Barcelona and formed a great personal friendship with him as well.
The Brazilian also discovered gems like Rodrygo and Valverde, helping Madrid sign them ahead of other rivals.
Calafat was also instrumental in helping his side sign Aurelien Tchouameni, travelling to France to get the deal done.
Calafat also helped seal the signings of Camavinga, Antonio Rudiger and Eden Hazard. The 49-year-old is a cunning, efficient worker who can go the extra mile to ensure that his club gets their target.
Bellingham is a major target for many European sides, who will all fight tooth and nail for him.
But knowing Calafat’s influence and scouting experience, along with the unmatched attraction of playing like Real Madrid, the English midfielder is unlikely to say no to a move to the Spanish capital next year.