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Real Madrid’s upcoming big headache: Expiring contracts and a detailed view

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Real Madrid have as many as four players, namely Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Nacho and Lucas Vazquez, whose contracts expire at the end of the season. Then, there are two – Kepa Arrizabalaga and Joselu – who are on loan.

Since the turn of the year, a lot has been said about Real Madrid’s approach and the potential continuity of these players, but as of today, there is nothing concrete mostly because the team want to asses the players in question at least for a month or two.

Right now, the sole focus is on the performance and the results as Real Madrid want to get the best out of the season. 

The team from the Spanish capital has already bagged the Spanish Super Cup, and winning the La Liga title is just on the horizon, meaning that the focus has now moved to the UEFA Champions League where Manchester City await them in the quarter-finals.

What about the loan players?

Starting with Kepa, the Spaniard is rightly expected to move back to Chelsea as his situation is not likely to improve

Called in as a replacement for an injured Thibaut Courtois, the stopper’s run as a first-team regular was halted following an injury and since then, Andriy Lunin has made the place his own.

Kepa Arrizabalaga will return to Chelsea. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

As of today, everything indicates that the Ukrainian will be retained by the management as the board is happy with his performance so much so that talks of the contract extension are already on the cards.

As for Joselu, his situation is rather tricky. While there are talks that the Espanyol striker might be retained by Real Madrid, questions will arise related to his playing time since Kylian Mbappe will arrive over the summer and Endrick will get some minutes as well. 

What about others?

Between Modric, Kroos, Nacho, and Vazquez, the Croatian is most likely to depart. A few days ago, we reported that the Real Madrid board is not in favour of offering him a new deal and reports of interest from elsewhere have already surfaced.

So far, nothing is official but it is safe to assume that the club veteran will leave as a free agent at the end of the season.

As far as Kroos is concerned, Real Madrid are certain about his continuity, but they know that it will be the midfielder who will have the final say. Until today, the midfielder has not given any indication as he continues to seek clarity from the board over his role.

Real Madrid want to retain Toni Kroos. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The German international, who will feature at UEFA Euro, does not want to be neglected which explains the delay in the entire process. If it were up to the club, he would have signed an extension already.

As for Vazquez and Nacho, there is a talk of one-year extension but everything is in the air right now.

Then there are on-loan players

It is to be remembered that Real Madrid have as many as four players on loan, Reinier, Rafa Marin, Juanmi Latasa, and Jesus Vallejo, who will return at the end of the season.

Of these players, only Marin is likely to get a decent run in the first team next season but that too if Nacho leaves. If the club captain is retained, Marin’s future will once again hang in balance.

Latasa and Reinier, on their part, seem to have no place in the Real Madrid squad even for the next season and the same can be argued for Vallejo considering the overbooking in the centre of the defence.

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Features

Real Madrid 3-2 FC Barcelona – Player Ratings

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Still fatigued from their weary 120 minutes midweek against Manchester City, Real Madrid took on Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier today in a fascinating clash.

Unlike the two previous games between the two sides this season, tonight’s Clasico was a very tight affair with both teams having their chances to steal the show. 

Andreas Christensen opened the scoring for Barcelona early in the night, giving the visitors the lead. A clean penalty conversion from Vinicius Jr, however, soon pulled one back for Los Blancos.

Fermin Lopez’s goal gave the Catalans the lead once more in the second period but the advantage was short-lived as Lucas Vazquez cut the deficit once more.

In the end, Jude Bellingham scored an injury-time winner for the men in white and Real Madrid got the result they required. The league title now appears written in their name.

Madrid Universal brings you the player ratings from El Clasico.

Andriy Lunin: 5

A relatively shaky night for the Ukrainian shot-stopper who never really looked confident with his saves. Was very poor in Andreas Christensen’s opener with his decision-making and came very close to conceding to a Lamine Yamal flick in the first half. 

Was directly at fault for the Blaugranas’ second goal of the night as he pushed the ball straight into the path of Fermin Lopez.

Lucas Vazquez: 10

A strong display from the Spanish full-back who once again showed that he is a potent force in the final third. Won the penalty for Real Madrid after some masterful trickery on the flank, setting up the team’s equaliser.

Found a stunning half-volley to stun Barcelona minutes after their second goal, levelling the scores once more. Was vital in the buildup for the team’s winner as well.

Sensational. (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni: 6.5

The French centre-back was presumably chosen for his prowess in the air but was nowhere to be seen when Christensen netted Barcelona’s opener. Was regularly poor in defending against set pieces, especially at the far post.

Antonio Rudiger: 7

The German centre-back led the team’s defensive unit but was also far from his best on the night. Did not make any glaring mistakes, but fatigue is likely to have impacted his influence.

Eduardo Camavinga: 6

The young phenom started the game well and was a lively presence in the final third. However, he soon began to struggle to keep up with Barcelona’s Lamine Yamal who began running havoc down the flank.

Was caught napping for Yamal’s cross that set up Barcelona’s second goal of the night and was dribbled past twice. Replaced by Fran Garcia at the 70-minute mark.

Federico Valverde: 7

Real Madrid’s midfield machine was undoubtedly fatigued on the night, yet came out at the team’s most valuable asset off the ball.

Completed seven defensive actions and 92% of his passes, executing his duties well.

Toni Kroos: 8

Sitting deep in the defensive midfield, Kroos was instrumental in holding the fortress for Real Madrid on the break. Silky smooth as ever with his distribution and creativity, combined with some no-nonsense defending.

Luka Modric: 8

Showing his quality. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

A good showing from the Croatian talisman who controlled the midfield alongside Kroos and Valverde throughout the first half. 

Jude Bellingham: 9

A much-improved performance from the Golden Boy who has been under scrutiny in recent weeks for his dip in form.

Bellingham was vital on the break for Real Madrid, dictating the attacking play of the team. He was immaculate with his passing range and completed 100% of his attempted dribbles.

Of all the Real Madrid players, Bellingham was likely the one who put in the biggest defensive shift when out of possession. Found the back of the net in emphatic fashion in the final minutes of the game to give his side the win.

Vinicius Jr: 8

Another Clasico goal. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Not the Brazilian phenom’s best night on the grasses of the Santiago Bernabeu as he struggled to conjure up much on the counters. Regardless, he scored a vital penalty and even came close to assisting Rodrygo twice in the first half.

Laid the ball on a platter for Lucas Vazquez, setting up the team’s second goal.

Rodrygo Goes: 7

While Rodrygo did not enjoy too much freedom in the final third either, his runs between the lines often created problems for the visitors. Yet, one felt Real Madrid should have capitalised more on the 23-year-old’s presence in the final third.

SUBSTITUTES

Brahim Diaz: 7

Brought life to Real Madrid’s counterattacks after coming on, although he did not really get into the game considering Los Blancos’ defence-heavy strategy.

Fran Garcia: 7

Did relatively well to defend against Yamal, and demonstrated more defensive awareness than Camavinga.

Eder Militao: NA

Came on too late to make a tangible impact.

Joselu: NA

Came on too late to make a tangible impact.

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