Home Football Real Madrid near renewal for Modric, Nacho in doubt – sources

Real Madrid near renewal for Modric, Nacho in doubt – sources


Real Madrid are close to agreeing new contracts with Luka Modric, Lucas Vázquez and Andriy Lunin, sources have told ESPN, but doubts remain about the future of club captain Nacho Fernández.

Midfielder Modric, 38, and full-back Vázquez, 32, will sign one-year extensions, while goalkeeper Lunin, 25, is expected to sign until 2029.

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Modric’s situation has changed in recent weeks. The club had expected the Ballon d’Or winner to leave this summer, but his importance this season — both on and off the field — has led the club and coach Carlo Ancelotti to reconsider.

Modric’s vast experience is crucial in the dressing room, sources have told ESPN, and the fact that the player has accepted his position as a squad player and impact substitute this campaign has been key to the change of plans.

Modric wants to stay, and has not been tempted by offers elsewhere including Saudi Arabia, sources said.

A source close to Modric told ESPN he would take a significant pay cut in order to stay, although another source denied that claim.

Ancelotti values Modric’s role in helping younger and newer teammates adapt to the club’s culture and demands, and in a summer which will see the arrivals of Kylian Mbappé and Endrick, as well as the departure of Toni Kroos, that is viewed as increasingly important.

Vázquez’s situation is more straightforward. The wide player is viewed as a natural alternative to Dani Carvajal at right-back and his attitude and performance when called upon in key games are valued highly.

Vázquez has always wanted to stay at Madrid, despite receiving several offers from clubs abroad.

Lunin’s impressive performances this season, playing a fundamental part in Madrid’s LaLiga title win and progression to the Champions League final, have won him a new deal, coupled with the fact that on-loan Kepa Arrizabalaga will return to Chelsea.

However, club sources told ESPN that they were not ruling out Madrid receiving an offer from a top club for the Ukraine international, which might lead them to reconsider his future.

Thibaut Courtois has now returned from his long-term ACL injury. Ancelotti plans to pick him in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund on June 1, despite Lunin’s form this season.

The case of Nacho Fernández, whose contract is due to expire in June, is more delicate.

There have been some reports that the Madrid captain had decided to leave the club to move to MLS, but the centre-back has not in fact taken a final decision.

Nacho is attracted by the idea of playing abroad for family reasons, but sources have told ESPN that he will wait until the end of the season before informing the club of his plans.

The club were surprised by reports that Nacho had decided to leave. He is viewed as the ideal club captain, and at various levels within the club his departure at this time would be seen as a shame.

Nothing is being ruled out, sources told ESPN, with Nacho both staying and leaving remaining on the table as possibilities.

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