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Four Real Madrid players that could leave in January due to lack of playtime

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Despite the acquisitions of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, Real Madrid’s summer is far from over.

The newly crowned European champions could face pressure to offload a few of their first-team stars, on account of these new acquisitions.

With a few more stars likely to join the club in the coming summer, there are multiple Real Madrid players who may end up leaving Santiago Bernabeu, if not this summer, then perhaps in mid-season.

Here, at Madrid Universal, we will take a look at four such players who may leave Real Madrid in January 2025.

Rodrygo

What’s in store for Rodrygo this summer? (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The arrival of Mbappe throws a big question mark over Rodrygo’s future at the Bernabeu. The Brazilian winger has been a key player for Real Madrid in recent seasons, but his playing time is likely to be significantly impacted by Mbappe’s presence.

If Rodrygo finds himself consistently benched, a loan move or even a permanent transfer could be on the cards.

The Brazilian, in fact, has been linked with a move to a series of top Premier League clubs in recent weeks, with Liverpool even tabling an offer worth €120 million.

Although Real Madrid have rejected Rodrygo’s advances, the club are open to the attacker’s sale if any suitor comes up with an offer of €150 million.

Even if Rodrygo ends up remaining at Santiago Bernabeu, it won’t come as a surprise to see the attacker having to settle for a move elsewhere in January.

Dani Ceballos

Ceballos’ situation unlikely to improve. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Dani Ceballos’ story at Real Madrid this season has been all about injuries and bench appearances.

Due to the explosion of young stars such as Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and Aurelien Tchouameni, Ceballos has found himself trailing in the pecking order.

Ceballos’ situation at Real Madrid has become more precarious even after Toni Kroos’ retirement, as the club are now reportedly considering the idea of accommodating Bellingham in a deeper midfield role.

Los Blancos are reportedly interested in keeping hold of the midfielder and there is still a chance the player could remain at the club this summer. But if he continues to struggle with game-time, a January exit could be on the cards.

Arda Guler

Guler may have to settle for a loan move in Jan. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Arda Guler was one of Real Madrid’s biggest bets last summer, as the youngster arrived at Santiago Bernabeu with a lot of hype.

Although the Turk did not have the best of starts to the season, his rapid rise to prominence was one of Real Madrid’s biggest highlights during the final phase of the league campaign.

Guler notably ended the campaign with six goals in ten league appearances. However, the playmaker’s role at Real Madrid could be reduced once again, especially following the arrivals of Mbappe and Endrick.

If Real Madrid find Guler’s role minimised significantly during the first half of the campaign, they might consider a loan move for the Turkish international, who has been linked with a move to at least eight clubs across Europe.

Fran Garcia

Fran Garcia’s future could be called into question. (Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images)

Similar to Guler, young left-back Fran Garcia hasn’t seen much action with the first team. While a talented player, he currently finds himself behind Ferland Mendy in the pecking order.

Garcia has featured in 25 league matches this term, but only 15 of them have been starts. His role in the squad could dwindle further next season as Real Madrid weigh a move for Alphonso Davies.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he wants Davies only as an addition to Mendy in the left-back position.

Fran Garcia might stay at Real Madrid even if Davies joins the club. But his limited role in the team may eventually force him to settle for a loan or even a permanent move elsewhere. In the event of a permanent exit, though, Real Madrid are likely to retain a buyback clause.

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MU Shorts

Five ‘traditions’ that Real Madrid will fulfil ahead of Champions League final

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Photo credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid’s upcoming tie against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League is a familiar setting for the team.

After all, they have won the Champions League 14 times—more than any other team and now, they aim to secure their 15th title.

Interestingly enough, Real Madrid’s success in the Champions League is often linked to various traditions and superstitions the club follows before each of their 17 final appearances and here we look at some of them:

Jeremy de Leon is the key

This season, head coach Carlo Ancelotti decided to include Jeremy de Leon, a young player from Puerto Rico, in the squad list for the final. 

Now, De Leon is not registered to play in the competition, but he travelled to London with the team. 

Carlo Ancelotti thinks Jeremy de Leon is a good luck charm for Real Madrid. (Photo credit: IG/Jeremy De Leon)

Interestingly, Ancelotti considers him a good luck charm and it was only last week that the manager mentioned, “Superstitious, yes, a little. I know it’s not good to say it, but not being superstitious leads to bad luck.

Same Pilot Crew

Real Madrid always ensure the same pilot crew flies them to crucial away games. This tradition started in the 2013/14 season when they beat Bayern Munich 4-0 in the semi-finals. 

Although there was a brief interruption in 2018 due to logistical changes for the Kyiv final, the tradition is now back in place. Juan Cierco from Iberia Airlines confirmed that Real Madrid prefer to fly with a specific crew that has brought them good luck in the past.

“Florentino Perez and the entire Real Madrid delegation always want some lucky charms and are faithful to the traditions,” he said.

“One of them is to fly with Iberia and another is to fly with certain people who have accompanied them throughout these last years and who have given them luck.”

Team Bus Rituals

On match days, Real Madrid players follow certain rituals and following that, Toni Kroos, who is playing his last game before retiring, always makes sure he is the last to get off the team bus during important matches. 

This ritual will continue. at Wembley when the team arrives for the final against Dortmund.

The traditional tifo

The ‘Hasta El Final’ tifo is only used by the fans in big matches,. (Photo credit: TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

The famous ‘Hasta El Final, Vamos Real’ banner is a staple at Real Madrid’s Champions League finals. 

Created by the club’s official fan group, Grada Fans, this banner appears only during these crucial games. 

It means ‘Until the end. Let’s Go Real’ and symbolises the unwavering support of the fans, known as the White Wall. This banner was last seen in the 2022 final against Liverpool in Paris.

Nacho Pena’s microphone duties

Another tradition involves Nacho Pena, Real Madrid’s announcer. 

Since his first appearance in the Lisbon final, Pena has been responsible for announcing the squad list and goals, as well as getting the fans excited before warm-ups. 

His presence has become a key part of Real Madrid’s pre-match routine in the finals.

One more important tradition is the ‘Matador celebration.’ This involves a Spanish player celebrating in a matador costume after a victory. 

In the past, former captains such as Raul Gonzalez and Sergio Ramos performed this celebration. After winning the trophy in 2022, Nacho Fernandez took on this role. 

Real Madrid’s dedication to these traditions and superstitions highlights the club’s deep connection to its history and its desire to maintain a winning culture as they prepare for another Champions League final.

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