As we enter the second half of the campaign, Real Madrid have their task cut out as they look to renew the contracts of several star players, who, as things stand right now, will become free agents at the end of the season.
The long list includes players such as Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, along with Dani Ceballos. While Real Madrid are expected to receive positive responses from Modric and Benzema, there is some amount of uncertainty over the continuity of Kroos.
The German midfielder, who was not a part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has hinted in the past that he may opt for an early retirement. The former Bayern Munich start had announced his retirement from international football last year, shortly after Germany’s debacle at Euro 2020.
Although Kroos has continued to play at the top level for Real Madrid, notably emerging as one of the top performers in the UEFA Champions League last term, a report from AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) suggests that the midfielder may retire at the end of this season.
German players are no strangers when it comes to early retirements. Kroos, aged 32, has featured in 383 competitive matches for Real Madrid, helping Los Blancos secure five Champions League titles, among other accolades.
Kroos is one of the most-used players for Real Madrid even in the ongoing campaign, having featured in almost 1,400 minutes of football in all competitions.
His retirement, therefore, could serve as a major blow for Real Madrid, who are already scouting the market for midfield reinforcements next summer. The club have reportedly identified Jude Bellingham as one of the top targets, but Kroos’ departure may force them to invest in another young midfielder in 2023.
Kroos, though, is yet to announce his final decision. He has the option of extending his contract at Santiago Bernabeu for a further year, and the midfielder may come up with a final verdict soon after the turn of the year, with the club expecting a decision by the end of January.
Real Madrid want to bring radical changes in Spanish refereeing system – report
Jose Felix Diaz has reported via MARCA that Real Madrid want a major change in the Spanish refereeing system.
The reporter writes that the team from the Spanish capital has taken the issue as their top priority mostly because of what happened in the recent derby defeat against Atletico Madrid.
Los Blancos are determined to relentlessly steer a significant overhaul of the refereeing structure, and they have no intention of resting in their pursuit.
Their discontent comes not only from recent events, particularly the contentious derby match but also from a deep-seated frustration with the state of refereeing itself.
Real Madrid not hiding their discontent
The journalist mentions that Real Madrid are unapologetic about their continuous criticism of the refereeing community, firmly believing that a transformation is of utmost importance.
Even prior to the emergence of the Negreira case, the Merengues had been vocal about their dissatisfaction with those responsible for overseeing the refereeing unit.
For what it is worth, the revelation of the former vice president of the CTA’s financial ties to Barcelona only solidified Real Madrid’s resolve to advocate for a complete overhaul in referee management.
Real Madrid are suspicious
Real Madrid firmly assert that any influence from Negreira’s historical decisions in certain key positions raises suspicions about the fairness of the competition.
For that, the management will do everything in its power to achieve a certain level of transparency within the organization that it believes is currently overshadowed by historical baggage.
As of today, Real Madrid continue to voice their concerns through their official channels.
Right now their ultimate goal is to eliminate the involvement of Clos Gomez in VAR decisions, marking the beginning of a long-standing battle they are fighting.