Before morphing into one of the best full-backs with AC Milan, Theo Hernandez plied his trade at Real Madrid after the club signed him from Atletico Madrid when he was still just 19.
Heightened pressure, expectations, and an extremely competitive environment eventually saw him hit the exit door in search of more minutes.
It is fair to say the move worked out perfectly for Hernandez, as he established himself as one of Serie A’s most complete full-backs.
Speaking to AS, he looked back at his time in the Spanish capital as well as his future aspirations.
When asked if a return to Real Madrid was on the cards, the French international diplomatically claimed that he remains focused on his current commitments and trusts the journey ahead.
“We never know what life will bring us, but I live in the present for emotions and professionalism. Nobody knows the future. I’m only thinking about this season,” he remarked.
Brahim Diaz, who is currently on a roll at Real Madrid, previously spent three seasons on loan at AC Milan, having shared a locker room with Theo Hernandez.
Commenting on his former teammate, Hernandez highlighted they both shared a strong connection and expressed his pleasure at Brahim’s stellar form with Madrid.
“From the moment Brahim arrived in Milan we had a great connection. We have had a lot of good times together and I am very happy about how things are going for him.
“He deserves it. I know that he has worked very hard and that he has the necessary level to play for Real Madrid,” he stated.
When asked if Real Madrid regretted letting him go, the 26-year-old voiced sincere appreciation: “For Real Madrid, I only have words of gratitude because of their trust in me. I like to live in the present and in the immediate future, but I keep that great club in my heart, I’m very grateful.”
He was also asked if he left in frustration owing to the lack of game time, to which Hernandez replied: “Possibly the right circumstances were not given at that time so that I could demonstrate my potential and talent, but I repeat, I’m very grateful to them.”
Eduardo Camavinga has grown into a jack of all trades since joining Real Madrid and Theo Hernandez is no stranger to the player’s diverse skillset, having played alongside him for the French national team.
Jokingly arguing he could even guard the sticks if he wanted, Hernandez praised the 21-year-old prospect: “When I saw him play at Left-Back he didn’t surprise me, Eduardo is a competitive beast, and if he wanted he could even play well as a GK (laughs).”
Asked to share his view if he thinks Kylian Mbappe would end up at Real Madrid, he said: “I’ve never asked him about it, but Kylian is intelligent and I am convinced that he will make the right decision for his career.”
The AC Milan full-back also waxed lyrical about Real Madrid legend, Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Cristiano is more than an example, he is a reference, an icon. He helped me a lot when I arrived at Real Madrid at just 19 years old.
“He was one of the players who was most aware of the youngsters, trying to make us feel as comfortable as possible. I learned many things from him and it was a privilege to share the locker room,” he remarked.
Real Madrid priority defensive target demanding €20 million in wages, club waiting to send first offer
Real Madrid top priority this summer window will be to nail down a move for Kylian Mbappe, who is set to leave PSG at the end of the season once his contract clocks up.
The Frenchman has been on their radar for the better part of the last decade at this point, but a move never went through for several reasons. This time, though, it is near completion, and seems to be the first one they will announce.
Once done, Madrid will look to negotiate with Bayern Munich as they are targeting a move for Alphonso Davies. The Canadian’s contract expires in the summer of 2025, and at this point, the Bavarians are quite pessimistic about his continuity.
In fact, a report earlier today from The Athletic claimed that Madrid have already reached a full verbal agreement with Davies. It was never going to be a problem for the Spanish giants, anyway, with the player keen to move.
However, it seems the reason why his contract extension stalled at Bayern and opened up this avenue has been released, with a report from BILD claiming that Davies demanded €20 million as his salary.
Bayern, with a very strict wage cap, were never happy to pay this much money, with even Harry Kane earning just over €20 million.
Madrid, on the other hand, seem to be happy to comply with Davies’ demands. Toni Kroos is their top-earner right now, reportedly, pocketing nearly €22 million in gross wages, with David Alaba, Luka Modric, and Vinicius Jr all on pretty much the €20 million mark.
Right now, Madrid are waiting on a green light from Bayern so they can send their first official bid for the player, which is expected to be in the region of €30-40 million.
They are not ready to pay anything more than €50 million for his services, especially with only one year remaining on his contract.