The end of the season is around the corner and Real Madrid have several tasks on the table to take care of. First of all, the stay of Carlo Ancelotti is still an unknown. On the other hand, several players that have been and are key pieces for the club have not still announced their renews. The players that end their contract with Real Madrid this summer are: Benzema, Modric, Kroos, Ceballos, Asensio, Nacho y Mariano.
If we take a look at their current shape, all of them except for Mariano are key players either for the starting line-ups or for the rotation. However, in the case of the veterans, they have already entered the annual contract extension renewal policy that the club have set up under President Florentino Pérez.
Players that end their contract with Real Madrid:
First of all, let’s focus on the current Golden Ball, Karim Benzema. The Frenchman seems to be getting to his peak that he showed last season after his performances against Valladolid, Barça and Chelsea. He has scored seven goals in the last four games. He has had a difficult season, as he has missed more than nine games due to injuries. In fact, one of those left him out of the Qatar World Cup.
At the age of 35, his renewal is still an unknown, but it looks like the club’s intention is for him to stay for one more season as their main striker. Then, with the arrival of Endrick in 2024, they will have to evaluate the level Benzema can have by then and if it is enough for such a demanding club.
The case of Luka Modric, who is almost 38, is very similar. The Croatian has shown tiredness at some points of the season due to the quantity of minutes played at the World Cup. However, in this final stage, is once again proving that he is still a key piece for Real Madrid. That is the way he showed with his performing against Barça that led his team to the Spanish Cup final. It looks like as far as he can bear with the physical demanding, the club will try to keep him on board.
His partner in crime, Toni Kroos, is another example of the players that end their contract with Real Madrid at the end of this season. He has assured multiple times that he will end his career at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. As a result, the rumors on a possible exit have faded away throughout this season and the german player decided to delay his contract extension until the end of the season in order to evaluate different options.
However, he is still the 6th player with the most minutes played this season and his decision will be based on his own level, which is why he would not mind to stay if Real Madrid offers him to this summer.
Also in the midfield, Dani Ceballos did not have an easy start into the new season and he was set to leave last summer. However, he ended up deciding to give himself a new chance and, since the recover on his ankle, he has earned both the love of the fans every time he is one the field and he has also gotten a key role at Luis De La Fuente’s new Spanish national team. The crowd usually chants “Ceballos stay”, but he has not made any final decision yet.
However, Real Madrid plan to sign Borussia Dortmund’s young midfielder Jude Bellingham. This would certainly result in an overbooking situation at the midfield that could change the plans and the roles from all the mentioned players in this position.
Another player that has really improved in the second part of the season is Nacho Fernández. The ‘One Club Man’ did not seem to be too important for Ancelotti after the arrival of Rüdiger, but he always end up being useful and the injuries of Alaba and Mendy have allowed him to have very outstanding minutes on defense thanks to his polyvalence. The fans request his stay, but Nacho has also decided to delay his contract extension proposal until the end of the season.
The case of Marco Asensio is also very similar to Ceballos’. In fact, both of them have played almost the same minutes this season. Marco seemed to be set to leave last summer. Even Ancelotti admitted that he was looking for a new team and that is the reason why he missed several games at the start of the season.
However, he has earned importance with some starting presences and outstanding performances. His intention seems to be to stay and increase his role in the squad, but Asensio wants to see how much he gets to play now that Real Madrid are battling to lift titles.
The only one that has his future cristal clear is the last name of this list, Mariano Díaz. He does not count neither for Ancelotti nor the last coaches that have been at Real Madrid. This way, he has not managed to convince anyone and last summer he rejected several offers from Valencia, Rayo and Fenerbahçe.
Furthermore, he is the player with the less minutes played in the squad and the rise of Uruguayan Álvaro Domínguez as a guaranteed second unit striker makes his farewell to be just a matter of time.
It seems that most of the players that end their contract with Real Madrid have a pending appointment at the Bernabéu offices. It is unlikely that six out of the seven mentioned players will extend their contracts, but surprises might also take place.
The management from the board of directors to mix youth and experience in the last few years has really worked out. In fact, as a result, they have lifted their 14th Champions League title and won two out of the last three LaLiga championships.
Now it is time to see if Real Madrid take that definitive step towards a ‘generational replacement’ with the exits of true legends such as Kroos, Modric, Benzema or Nacho.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Edit by José Manuel Calviño.