- Real Madrid searching for new naming rights sponsor for Santiago Bernabeu
- The club had hope to fund renovation of their stadium with naming rights deal
- Oil and gas multinational Cepsa have reportedly pulled out of £351m agreement
- Real Madrid will have to generate transfer funds by selling off first-team stars
Real Madrid have lost a stadium naming rights deal worth €400million (£351m) according to Spanish financial newspaper El Economista. That means they have to sell players this summer to fund their Galatico rebuilding project.
Last week, the club were granted a license to begin redevelopment work on their Santiago Bernabeu stadium, including covering the ground with a state of the art retractable roof.
But the plan to finance the renovation of the stadium with the biggest naming rights contract in football history with Spanish oil and gas multinational Cepsa has fallen apart.
Real Madrid’s plan to sell off the naming rights for the Bernabeu has reportedly fallen through
El Economista reported on Friday that the €400m offer, originally agreed in 2014, has been definitively withdrawn because Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala, who are the majority shareholders in Cepsa, believe the stadium project has been downscaled and the time frame not been met.
Madrid are searching for a new sponsor as they prepare to begin work on the stadium upgrade but the set-back will make selling stars this summer an essential part of their attempts to lure the likes of Eden Hazard and Harry Kane to Spain.
Fans’ favourite Isco has had to return to the substitutes’ bench since the return to fitness of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo and would be the most likely to depart.
Real Madrid could generate significant funds by selling Gareth Bale, but he is happy in Spain
Real Madrid will struggle to find a buyer for Ronaldo, who wants £30.8m-a-season)
Despite Madrid being named in the most recent Deloitte report as second highest global earners in football, leapfrogging Barcelona into second place and bringing in £592.8m revenue in 2016-17 (second only to Manchester United’s £594.3m), the stadium revamp costs means players will have to leave for new ones to arrive.
Madrid’s major spending sprees usually come with big sales. In 2014, when they signed James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas, they also made sold Angel di Maria, Alvaro Morata and Xabi Alonso to Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively.
Next summer will be no different. Ronaldo and Bale would bring in the most money but the former has a shortage of suitors able to give him the €35m-a-season (£30.8m) salary parity with Messi that he wants.
And Bale is happy at Madrid and does not want to leave. The will mean the focus turns on the likes of Isco and defender Raphael Varane.
Isco, who is popular at Real Madrid but has dropped to the bench, is the most likely to leave