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Real Madrid veteran in advanced negotiations with Saudi club Al-Qadsiah

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

In a fresh development, French publication L’Equipe reports that Real Madrid captain and veteran defender Nacho Fernandez is in advanced negotiations to sign for Saudi Arabian club Al-Qadsiah.

Nacho, 34, sees his contract with Los Blancos expire on June 30, in a little over a week, and appears all set to move on as a free agent.

Reports earlier in the month suggested that the Los Blancos academy graduate was headed for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad, but there was a hold-up in negotiations due to some bureaucratic issues.

It now appears that Al-Qadsiah have moved swiftly to enter into the picture, taking advantage of the Al-Ittihad talks slowing down.

Promoted to the first division of the Saudi Arabian Football league, Al-Qadsiah are equipped with a large budget and are aiming high to build an ambitious project.

On his way to Saudi Arabia? (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

As part of it, they have set sights on the experienced Nacho, who is coming on the back of a successful campaign during which he captained Real Madrid to the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League.

As per the report, negotiations between Nacho and Al-Qadsiah are understood to be at an advanced stage, which has put the latter ahead of Al-Ittihad in the race for the versatile centre-half.

It remains to be seen if Nacho does end up joining Al-Qadsiah or wait for Al-Ittihad but all signs point towards him leaving Real Madrid as a free agent, even though there is a contract offer on the table.

Nacho’s exit should open the doors for the European champions to make a push for key defensive target Leny Yoro, who is believed to have an agreement with Real Madrid over a transfer.

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Real Madrid News

Just in: Real Madrid’s defensive target picks up fresh injury

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Photo by Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/Getty Images

Real Madrid are in active negotiations with LOSC Lille for the transfer of Leny Yoro. After weeks of impasse, the club appear to have made some ground in the race to sign the Frenchman.

However, should the Yoro deal fall through in the coming weeks, Real Madrid have identified Lazio’s Mario Gila as the ideal alternative.

Formerly of RM Castilla, Gila currently plies his trade for Lazio and has emerged as a key defensive lynchpin for the Italian outfit, impressing onlookers with his technique and discipline.

Mario Gila picks up fresh injury

However, in a major development, it appears Mario Gila has picked up a fresh injury during training, reports Diario AS.

In the pre-season camp at Auronzo di Cadore, Gila appears to have fractured his left foot and could be out for several weeks.

Fresh setback for Mario Gila (Photo by Marco Rosi – SS Lazio/Getty Images)

Lazio confirmed the defender’s injury, stating, “Mario Gila underwent clinical and instrumental examinations which revealed a fracture of the phalanx of the big toe of his left foot, suffered during training.”

Gila has started taking the appropriate treatment and the extent of his injury will be known soon. However, as things stand, the defender could be out for at least the next few weeks.

What does this mean for Real Madrid?

Mario Gila’s fresh injury setback is sure to dwindle any hopes of a potential return to Real Madrid this summer.

In any case, Gila’s chances of returning to Santiago Bernabeu were slim given that Real Madrid have finally made some ground in the deal to sign top defensive target Leny Yoro.

Los Blancos, though, would have liked having someone like Gila available as an alternative, especially with LOSC Lille still demanding a fortune for the Frenchman.

Unfortunately, that might not be an option anymore, no thanks to Gila’s injury. The club, though, will keep a close eye on the Spaniard’s injury situation, knowing he could return to fitness before the end of the summer break.

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