Gareth Bale, Isco ready to step into Cristiano Ronaldo's shoes as Real Madrid's new stars

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Real Madrid are looking for a new icon following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.

New coach Julen Lopetegui has stressed the need for a top team spirit but there will be no shortage of stars jostling for the vacancy.

Here, Press Association Sport casts its eye over five of the most likely candidates to replace the irreplaceable Portuguese playmaker.

Marco Asensio

The young striker has been with Real since 2014 and now is his chance to step up to the plate. Asensio is sharp and fleet-footed and has scored a number of noteable goals in the past. But the big question remains whether he can attain the required consistency to come close to stepping into Ronaldo’s shoes.

Marco Asensio.

Marco Asensio.

Gareth Bale

Bale’s stunning performance in the Champions League final was seen by some as a glorious send-off. But Bale is still at the Bernabeu and will be given his chance to shine by new boss Lopetegui. Freed from the constraints of feeding his illustrious number seven, the Welshman could be set to seize his chance.

bale

Isco

The attacking midfielder certainly got himself in Lopetegui’s good books by returning early for the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. And the signs are that Lopetegui is set to resist the temptation to return to the transfer market and put his faith in the young star.

IscoRealMadrid

Lucas Vazquez

The 27-year-old has spent much of his Real Madrid career in the shadows but can expect to get his chance to shine in the new post-Ronaldo era. But if he wants to rise to top-billing he will have to score more than the single goal he managed during the entirety of Real’s victorious Champions League campaign.

1110 Lucas Vazquez

Vinicius Junior

The young Brazilian could be the next Galactico in waiting – but Real fans may have to be a little patient. Vinicius arrives with rave reviews from his time in his homeland and expressed his faith in Lopetegui – who is likely to gradually ease him into the first team in order to maximise his exciting potential.

vinicius-junior

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Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui convinced his squad is strong enough to win silverware

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Julen Lopetegui is happy with his squad

Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui insists they are not in desperate need to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes.

Questions were raised whether Los Blancos need reinforcements following their 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday as well as the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Lopetegui says he is pleased with the strength of his squad ahead of their opening La Liga match against Getafe on Sunday.

“We’re convinced that we will be a great team this season and I love the squad and I’m happy with what we have,” Lopetegui said.

“I think we will see a great Real Madrid and we are going to fight for all of the titles with the players we have.

“They have more talent and quality than people think and I wouldn’t doubt them.”

The transfer window closes on August 31.

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Julen Lopetegui is happy with the strength of his squad

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Hello, Denzil Pinto with you throughout the day for every nugget of Real Madrid news.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

6:30pm – Julen Lopetegui insists there’s no need to bring in new players

The head coach said he is happy with the strength of his squad and says he doesn’t need to make any reinforcements before the transfer window closes on August 31. Ahead of the opening La Liga game against Getafe, the Spaniard spoke about whether there would be any new signings to arrive. Click here on what he said.

Julen Lopetegui is happy with his squad

Julen Lopetegui is happy with his squad

4:55pm – Chance for Karim Benzema to step up 

Ahead of the club’s opening La Liga fixture against Getafe on Sunday, there will be plenty of intrigue on how Real Madrid will do following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Chris Bailey looks at the game and the key talking points. Read his piece here.

Benzema of Real Madrid

2:10pm – Stars train ahead of first La Liga match

Just 24 hours before their opening game of the La Liga season, Real Madrid were on the field as they look to fine-tune their preparations against Getafe on Sunday night.

12:50pm – No summer exit for Federico Valverde

The 20-year-old attacker looks set to be staying at Los Blancos this summer after impressing coach Julen Lopetegui in pre-season. Read more on that story here.

Federico Valverde (right) impressed for Real in pre-season

Federico Valverde (right) impressed for Real in pre-season

11:00am – Los Blancos preparing huge bid for Neymar

The Champions League winners are to test PSG’s resolve by preparing a staggering €300 million bid for Brazilian striker Neymar.

Real are looking to strengthen their attack following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo and have identified Neymar as the perfect replacement. Read more on that story here.

Neymar Jr looks on

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