Real Madrid News
Real Madrid veteran’s continuity beyond this season still up in the air – report
Nacho Fernandez has been a valuable player for Real Madrid. Having spent his entire career at the club, the 32-year-old defender has been a handy utility player for Los Blancos thanks to his versatile nature and leadership.
After making over 100 appearances for the club’s Castilla outfit, Nacho has featured in 286 matches for Real Madrid’s first team, even bagging 15 goals and nine assists in the process.
The Spaniard played an important role in Los Merengues’ La Liga and UEFA Champions League triumph last season under Carlo Ancelotti. However, game-time has been hard to come by for Nacho this season.
It has cast aspersions over his continuity at the club beyond the current season, with MARCA reporting that his future still remains up in the air as he we enter the last six months of the 2022/23 campaign.
Nacho’s current contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the ongoing season. And, according to reports, the 32-year-old defender has brought a halt to any negotiations over a potential extension as he is not entirely happy with his situation at the Bernabeu.
Nacho has played just 11 times across all competitions for the reigning champions of Spain and Europe. The versatile defender has started just four matches across all competitions, with his minutes taking a serious beating following the acquisition of Antonio Rudiger in the summer.
So, considering that his contract expires at the end of the season and talks over a renewal have hit a standstill, there is no clarity over Nacho’s continuity at Real Madrid beyond this season.
The Spaniard’s potential departure at the end of the season could open the doors for the Merengues to sign a new defender, with RB Leipzig and Croatia star Josko Gvardiol on the radars of the club.
Real Madrid News
25-year-old ‘impeccable’ star viewed as the leader of the Real Madrid defence
According to MARCA, Eder Militao is seen as the undisputed leader of the Real Madrid defence, thanks to his ‘impeccable’ level of performances. The 25-year-old’s standing in the team has forced a duel between David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger for the second centre-back slot.
Militao arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, joining from FC Porto in a deal worth €50 million. While he made a slow start to life in Spain, the Brazilian slowly grew in stature from his second season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Following the exits of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, Militao established himself as a permanent fixture in the backline for the Merengues and was a standout performer last season as they won the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League trophy.
The 25-year-old has carried on in the same vein of form this season as well, featuring in 35 matches across all competitions for Real Madrid, even chipping in with six goals.
The Brazilian international is seen as one of the best centre-backs in the world currently, with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti sharing that opinion.
“I may lose credibility if I say Vinicius and Militão are the best striker and defender in the world respectively but it’s the truth. I am honest. Militão lacks nothing,” he had said last month.
Militao is not only viewed as the leader of the Real Madrid defence, but has also grown into a leader within the locker room as well, with the player being loved and fully supported by his teammates.
Militao’s presence has meant that Alaba and Rudiger have had to battle it out for the lone centre-back slot. The former had enjoyed a stunning season last time out after joining from Bayern Munich in 2021, but has struggled with injuries and fitness problems this term.
As for Rudiger, the German arrived last summer from Chelsea and started out slow, but has grown in confidence and stature, especially in recent months. So much so that, his signing is already being regarded as a success within the club.
In Militao, Real Madrid undoubtedly have a long-term fixture at the heart of the defence. But with Rudiger and Alaba in their thirties, the Merengues must look to bring in one more player who can take over from them in the near future and can form a partnership with Militao.