The January transfer window isn’t generally known to be when clubs make their big-name purchases.

Those are usually reserved for the busier summer window, though fees can tend to be inflated if it happens to be in a World Cup or European Championship year. Two cases in point on that score are James Rodriguez and Yerry Mina.

In any event, Barcelona broke the mould by signing Philippe Coutinho at this time last year, before stunning European football with a big-money swoop for Ajax’s Frenkie De Jong this January.

With Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain known to be interested, and De Jong admitting that he afforded Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel the courtesy of a meeting, it’s a real coup for the Blaugrana to snap up a player that many believe is ideally suited to their way of playing.

It’s also a statement of intent from the Catalans after the signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng a few days before left everyone scratching their heads.

The impact of De Jong’s arrival to the Camp Nou will be most keenly felt at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid were known to be very interested in Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, however, there’s a real fear that they will be priced out of the market now, where the Dane is concerned.

It’s believed Eriksen is keen to make the switch but with De Jong costing an initial 75m euros rising to 86m with variables, Los Blancos’ concern is that the fee for the Dane will sky rocket and, whilst not beyond their means financially, would negatively impact their future transfer strategy.

Eden Hazard’s persistent courting looks like it may pay off in the summer, and young Brazilian starlet, Rodrygo Goes, will also be arriving.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Real are lying low throughout January.

Supporters who are used to seeing a revolving door of big names, have had to be content with Thibaut Courtois, Vinicius Junior, Alvaro Odriozola and Mariano Diaz in the summer, and Brahim Diaz in January.

Aside from Vinicius, none have really made the impact expected, seeing Real fall further behind their eternal rivals in the race for another La Liga title.

With Matthijs De Ligt also rumoured to want to come to the Camp Nou with his friend and countryman, Barcelona are once again leading the way when it comes to securing the best young talent – and there’s only one way that Los Blancos know how to deal with that.

However, a ‘Galactico’ signing policy has never been sustainable, and Real seemed to admit as much by starting to bring in and bring through younger players.

So… Florentino Perez et al need to take stock quickly and decide how to proceed, because Barcelona are already two steps ahead.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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