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Real Madrid expect key veteran star to renew at the end of the season

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Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Real Madrid superstar Toni Kroos celebrated his 33rd birthday on Wednesday. The midfielder has been at the club for over eight years now, having arrived in 2014 from Bayern Munich.

During his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, the German ace has firmly etched his name into the history of the club, having won as many as four UEFA Champions League trophies along with several other honours.

However, heading into the summer, Kroos’ future at Real Madrid is clouded by uncertainty. The 33-year-old’s contract with the Merengues expires at the end of the ongoing campaign. And there has been no decision made by the midfielder as of yet.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner has always maintained that he desires to retire at Real Madrid. And there has been a fear within the club that the veteran star, who continues to be integral to Carlo Ancelotti’s plans, will hang up his boots in the summer.

Recent reports had suggested that Kroos could arrive at a decision on his future over the coming month.

But, according to Pacojo on SER Deportivos, Real Madrid are now expecting Kroos to renew his contract at the end of the season and remain at the club for another year.

Of the Merengues’ 23 matches across all competitions this season, the 33-year-old veteran has played in 19, scoring one goal and setting up four more.

Even though Real Madrid are working to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, they see veterans like Kroos and Luka Modric as important cogs in the scheme of things and want them to remain at the club.

And even though they feared that Kroos might retire once this season comes to an end, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe are now expecting the veteran superstar to renew and stay at the club.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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