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Which Real Madrid youngsters could force their way into Zinedine Zidane’s plans next season?

The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium looks set for a summer of change, as returning coach Zinedine Zidane bids to reshape the Real Madrid squad in his image ahead of an assault on the LaLiga title next season.

The three-time UEFA Champions League-winning boss will also be looking to reassert Real’s dominance in Europe, and will presumably make significant changes to his side in order to close the gap on the continent’s best clubs in 2019/20.

Speculation has been rife as to what activity Los Blancos may undertake in the transfer market, but do Real Madrid have a host of potential stars already in their ranks?

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Here are five players who could force their way into Zidane’s thinking, and make their mark in the Spanish capital during the coming campaign…

Brahim Díaz

Former Manchester City youngster Brahim Díaz arrived at the Bernabéu in January with a reputation as one the best midfield prospects in Europe.

A Málaga native, the 19-year-old returned to Spain for a rumoured fee of around $19million in search of first-team opportunities after only playing 15 times in all competitions for the Citizens.

Díaz has made a promising start to life in Madrid, but has been restricted to just eight LaLiga games this season – scoring his first goal for the club in last weekend’s clash with Real Sociedad.

He will be hoping to impress Zidane in the International Champions Cup 2019 this summer, and get significantly more minutes in a Real shirt next season.

Martin Ödegaard

Much has been expected of Martin Ödegaard since he burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old prodigy at Norweigan club Strømsgodset.

The attacking midfielder made his league debut at just 15 years and 118 days, and became the youngest player to be capped by Norway four months later.

That attracted the attention of Real Madrid who paid $4million for his services, before sending him out on loan to SC Heerenveen in 2017/18 and Vitesse Arnhem this season.

A series of impressive performances in the latter of those two spells has raised the prospect of Ödegaard returning to Madrid in the summer and finally making an impact at the age of 20 after refining his craft in the Netherlands.

Luca Zidane

Could Luca Zidane follow in his father’s footsteps and become a star player for Real Madrid?

The 21-year-old goalkeeper has worked his way through the club’s academy system and risen up the ranks to make a first-team appearance in each of the past two seasons.

Reports suggest that Zidane is in line to become the back-up to Thibaut Courtois for 2019/20, but the France Under-20 international will be ready to pounce on any opportunities that come his way and stake his claim for more regular first-team action.

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Javi Sánchez

Sánchez is another graduate of Real’s youth setup and the defender has been performing at a high level for the club’s reserve team Real Madrid Castilla since breaking into their side in 2015.

A versatile player who combines speed with strength and positional ability, Sánchez’s leadership ability could undoubtedly be a useful addition to the first team locker room as Zidane looks to build his squad for next season.

At 22 years of age this could finally be the campaign that the technical centre back adds to his one first-team appearance and makes his mark at the Bernabéu.

Jesús Vallejo

There might be plenty of competition for the centre back berths at Real Madrid next season, with Jesús Vallejo providing Zidane with another defensive option to consider ahead his first full year back at the club.

A loan at German side Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016/17 has led to a handful of appearances in each of the following seasons for the 22-year-old, who initially arrived in the capital for around $7million back in 2015.

Vallejo will be buoyed by scoring his first ever goal for Los Blancos this month against Villarreal, and will hope to impress his coach at the International Champions Cup 2019 in order to get more first team opportunities next season.

Real Madrid will play FC Bayern in Houston, TX, before heading to Landover, MD, where they’ll take on UEFA Europa League finalists Arsenal.

Their International Champions Cup campaign concludes with a derby clash against Atlético de Madrid in East Rutherford, NJ.

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