Real Madrid have several players on their books whose contracts expire at the end of the season. Those include club legends like Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos as well as bit-part players like Mariano Diaz and Dani Ceballos.
Reports suggest that Benzema’s extension has already been agreed upon with only the announcement pending, while they are also working to renew Modric and Kroos. The futures of Asensio and Nacho Fernandez, meanwhile remain unclear, while Mariano is certain to leave.
As for Ceballos, the midfielder showed what he can still offer to this Real Madrid team when he stepped up and changed the course of the game last night against Villarreal, even scoring the winning goal in the 3-2 victory that earned Los Blancos a spot in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
According to journalist Sergio Santos, several big European clubs are interested in signing Ceballos as a free agent at the end of the season. At the same time, Real Madrid are yet to make an approach to the Spaniard with a new contract offer.
Carlo Ancelotti had asked the club to renew the midfielder in the summer, but the club did not grant his request. The manager has said on multiple occasions that Ceballos is deserving of more minutes but has not lived up to his words, handing him just 442 minutes of action.
Indeed, the 26-year-old is last in the midfield pecking order at the Bernabeu, behind Modric, Kroos, Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga.
And, as iterated earlier, Real Madrid have made no real movements to try and keep him at the club beyond the current season. Ceballos, for his part, continues to insist that he wants to fight for a place in the team.
But with interest in his services mounting, the Spanish international seems set for the exit doors come summer, with many big European clubs willing to sign him up.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo