The defending UEFA Champions League and La Liga champions Real Madrid are looking strong this year as well. They missed out on landing their prime target Kylian Mbappe in the summer transfer window but the team is still very strong. Vinicius Jr. is getting better with every game and Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is still prowling in the attack for the team. However, while things look fine as of now, there is a chance that a lot of players might depart from the team at the end of the season. In this post, we will take a look at those players. Let’s get started.
Will These Players Leave Real Madrid?
Straight up, it’s now or never. The second half of the season will be decisive for seven players from the current Real Madrid squad who are under contract until 2023. These players are Karim Benzema (35), Luka Modric (37), Toni Kroos (32), Nacho (32), Marco Asensio (26), Dani Ceballos (26) and Mariano Díaz (29), in that order of priority. These players must end the season convincingly for the world’s most prestigious football club to renew their contract.
Benzema (35), winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or, has a particular challenge: overcoming injuries. He even missed the 2022 FIFA World Cup because of his injuries. In the first six months of the season, he was in the infirmary five times and missed nine games. He went to the World Cup and came back injured without playing a game and now he seems to be 100%.
The coach Carlo Ancelotti found Rodrygo (21) from Brazil who can be developed as Benzema’s replacement (especially after Kylian Mbappe spurned Madrid in the last minute.) Hazard (33) and Mariano Díaz (29) do not count. Hazard has been labelled as one of the “laziest players ever” by many people. Karim Benzema’s health will be more than key for the club to renew his contract. He isn’t getting any younger and injuries tend to mount as players get older. There is added pressure on Benzema as Real Madrid has recently signed the Brazilian prodigy Endrick from Palmeiras.
Modric (37), for his part, comes from finishing third with Croatia in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and seems to be experiencing a second youth. The team wants the “10” to guide the midfield transition, even if that means playing fewer games in 2024. He hasn’t shown any decline and has maintained fantastic fitness. So Luka Modric will keep playing for Real Madrid till he wants to do so.
In another situation is Toni Kroos (32) who rejected a first renewal offer and has not yet defined his future. He can play two or three more years at a highly competitive level, but it is clear that he does not want to come off the bench. The German could change the scenery in the event of an offer that convinces him. Kroos and his through balls have been instrumental in Real Madrid’s success but the rise of younger midfield stalwarts might result in the German signing elsewhere.
Nacho (32), for his part, is a man of the house. Canterano and captain. The club knows that it has a central defender with experience and solvency in the showcase and that he accepts his role with gallantry, always competing for a place in the starting eleven. If Madrid signs a central defender in the next two markets, the one sacrificed would be Jesus Vallejo (25). So we will most likely see Nacho playing for Real Madrid for a long time.
March Asensio (26) has rejected a renewal offer that may no longer be available and is listening to the siren songs of his agent, the Portuguese Jorge Mendes, who says he has proposals from big clubs in Europe if he becomes a free agent in 2023. He has already etched his name in Real Madrid folklore by scoring against Juventus in the 2017 UEFA Champions League final. But he might be seeking out greener pastures (financially) with his next contract.
Dani Ceballos (26) is a Real Madrid player who seems to have his days numbered. He has the confidence of the coaching staff, but he is not part of the renewal plans. If the bet is to go for the signing of Jude Bellingham (19) and Enzo Fernandez (21), Ceballos might be heading out of the Santiago Bernabeu.
As far as impending Madrid departures are concerned, there is very little to say about Mariano Díaz (29). He has been on the exit ramp for three years, but he remains firm in fulfilling his contract which expires in 2023. No one doubts that he will be the first to leave. The numbers give it away. 25′ minutes distributed in five games, the one who has played the least in the current squad.
In the Madrid offices, there is already planning to be carried out and in the meantime they want the team to compete on all fronts. In this second half of the season, the titles begin to be defined: Spanish Super Cup, Copa del Rey, Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup.