Overbooking at Real Madrid: 36 players under contract

09 Jan 2019
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Real Madrid are going through a moment in which the staff turnover has helped them to three consecutive Champions League titles.

With Neymar at the top of Florentino Perez‘s wish list, there are also other important names on the agenda such as Eden Hazard, Harry Kane and Exequiel Palacios meaning that there is likely to be a big summer ahead through arrivals, returns and exits to shape the squad.

It is a squad that now has 36 players after the arrival of Brahim Diaz from Manchester City.

Of the 26 players in Santiago Solari‘s current first team squad, there are a further 10 included who are currently out on loan and may be in line for exits, although none of them have a contract which expires in 2019.

Those whose deals run out in 2020 are Kiko Casilla, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Sergio Reguilon and Luka Modric.

Between the posts, after Keylor Navas‘ renewal until 2021, Madrid must decide who will be second in command to Thibaut Courtois.

In the summer, Andriy Lunin will return from his loan spell and has so far had limited opportunities at Leganes so it is unclear what his role will be when he is back at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

In defense, there are two players out on loan, those being Theo at Real Sociedad and Achraf at Borussia Dortmund, although his move runs until June 2020.

It also seems that Real will look for a centre-back option beyond Jesus Vallejo, who has played just 14 games in two seasons.

There are four midfielders out on loan, with the main one being James Rodriguez at Bayern Munich, in his second and final year at the Allianz Arena.

If the Bavarian team execute their 42 million euros release clause, the Colombian will be theirs and although he hasn’t always been first choice this year, Bayern could opt to pay that figure and then attempt to make a profit on a man who still has a lot of market value.

At Chelsea, they have Mateo Kovacic and the Croatian’s intention is not to return to Valdebebas.

In London, he has found the prominence he was looking for in the Spanish capital but it is Real who will command his future.

That may be assessed further when they determine what will happen with Modric, who is again wanted by Inter and likely others.

Meanwhile, Martin Odegaard, who just turned 20 in December, is on his third loan spell in the Netherlands.

It appears unlikely that either he or Oscar (Leganes) will have place at Madrid in 2019/20 but we must first see how the Palacios situation is resolved.

The forward line is the place in which big signings could arrive and perhaps call into question the previously untouchable Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.

Mariano has a contract until 2025 but this season is placing him in a difficult situation in terms of his future.

Real have three strikers out on loan. Raul de Tomas is at Rayo and Borja Mayoral is with Levante and they will likely be set for another temporary move or outright sale.

Rodrygo is set for a first team place when he comes in from Santos and will be another Brazilian youngster who has big expectations upon him, like Vinicius, although neither will be mainstays in the starting line-up.

What is clear is that the offices of the Bernabeu will play host to many more meetings in the coming months to discuss exits, loan deals and attempt to give shape to a project that it appears increasingly unlikely will have Solari at the head of it.

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