The next few months will be crucial for Real Madrid to make decisions regarding the futures of several players whose contracts expire at the end of the season.
Of those, it is believed that the likes of Nacho Fernandez and Toni Kroos, the door is open for a renewal while the situation of Luka Modric appears complicated due to his reduced game-time.
Another player whose contract runs out on June 30 is right-back Lucas Vazquez and if reports are to be believed, the 32-year-old might have earned himself a renewal.
Real Madrid considering renewing Lucas Vazquez
Indeed, as per journalist Jorge C Picon, Real Madrid are increasingly willing to offer Lucas Vazquez a new contract for another year, which would keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu until 2025.
The Spaniard’s professionalism and his good performances when Carlo Ancelotti needed him most have served to prove that he can still give one more season of good football.
First during the injury-enforced absence of Dani Carvajal and more recently when the latter has been used as a centre-back, Vazquez has done a solid job at right-back.
In total, he has played 23 games (1,007 minutes) this season, contributing with a goal and four assists.
In Valdebebas, Vazquez is seen as an impeccable professional who knows how to assume his role in the team. He is one of those invisible leaders in the dressing room, one of those who is responsible for uniting the group.
Initially, Real Madrid had not decided whether to offer him one more season or let him leave. But given his recent performances and the situation of the team, the idea of keeping Vazquez at the Bernabeu is starting to gain momentum.
Decision up to player
With Real Madrid now willing to offer a new contract, the decision is now totally up to Vazquez and what he wants to do next.
The 32-year-old is happy in Madrid and is very grateful to the club where he graduated through the youth academy.
However, this season, Vazquez has not been playing as he would like. Now in the final stretch of his career, the defender is considering whether to try his luck elsewhere or continue to extend his legacy at the club he considers ‘home’.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.