Real Madrid are in active talks with some of their experienced players as they near the final stage of their respective careers.
One of them is Toni Kroos, whose current deal at the Bernabeu expires at the end of the season. The German has continued to play a key role in the club’s midfield setup and has shown no real signs of slowing down.
As such, the club plan on extending his deal for one more year. But there is a feeling around the Real Madrid camp that the player may retire rather than prolong his stay at the Bernabeu.
Sky Sports journalist Florian Plettenberg has offered an update on the situation, stating that talks over a one-year extension for the German midfielder could begin soon.
He suggests that Kroos has an excellent relationship with Real Madrid and plans to end his career at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Carlo Ancelotti has recently confirmed it is up to the German to decide whether or not he wants to extend his contract. If he opts to run down his contract, the midfielder will retire from professional football in 2023. If he signs a new deal, the retirement will come in 2024.
Kroos had notably announced his retirement from international football last year, in the aftermath of Germany’s poor performance in Euro 2020. However, at the age of just 32, the former Bayern Munich superstar still has a few years left in him.
Given the way his Real Madrid teammate Luka Modric has been performing at the age of 37, Kroos has the potential to remain one of the club’s key midfield assets for the next couple of years.
The midfielder also retains an excellent relationship with the board, which could play a key role in convincing him to extend his career further and help Los Blancos continue their dominance in European football.
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.