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Real Madrid 'set contract deadline' for captain Nacho Fernandez

Real Madrid 'set contract deadline' for captain Nacho
© Reuters
Real Madrid reportedly set their captain Nacho Fernandez a deadline to decide on his future at the club, with his current contract due to end on June 30.

Real Madrid have reportedly set their captain Nacho Fernandez a deadline to decide on his future at the club, with his current contract due to end on June 30.

Nacho's journey with Real Madrid spans over two decades, starting at the grassroots level and progressing to receiving the role of first-team captain in the 2023-24 season.

The 34-year-old led Los Blancos to the Champions League, La Liga and Spanish Super Cup titles, all in his first season wearing the armband.

However, in less than a month, the Spanish international's contract is set to end with his boyhood club, and there is still uncertainty around his next move.

Carlo Ancelotti is believed to have expressed his desire to retain the veteran defender's services for the foreseeable future, but a final decision by Nacho has yet to be made.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti during the press conference on May 7, 2024© Reuters

Nacho given deadline for contract extension decision

According to Marca, Real Madrid have offered Nacho a one-year contract extension but have stipulated that he has to make the call over whether to accept it by the end of June.

The 34-year-old has been linked with several moves away from Madrid this summer, with clubs in Saudi Arabia and the MLS believed to be interested in his services.

Should Nacho opt to leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, it will likely mean that Los Merengues will have to secure a new centre-back in the off-season.

While Madrid are expected to promote highly rated Rafa Marin to the first-team next season, they are going to be involved in as many as seven competitions in 2024-25 and will need depth across the pitch.

As it stands, only Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao are likely to be available as centre-back options for the first few months of the new campaign with David Alaba expected to remain sidelined until October.

Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger kisses the trophy during the presentation as he celebrates after winning the Champions League on June 1, 2024© Reuters

Real Madrid short of centre-back options

Alaba made 16 appearances for the La Liga champions this season before sustaining an ACL injury, which required him to undergo surgery.

If Nacho chooses to pursue a future away from Madrid this summer, it will bring an end to a 12-year tenure with the senior team.

In the 2023-24 campaign, the 34-year-old featured in 45 matches, including 12 in the Champions League competition, which the club won for a record-extending 15th time.

Additionally, the skipper played a vital role in Madrid's La Liga title run, helping them finish 10 points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona.

On the flip side, if he chooses not to accept the contract extension, he will join Luka Modric in enjoying a final season with Los Blancos.

After winning the Champions League, Nacho and Modric surpassed Marcelo and Karim Benzema to become the players with the most trophies (26) in the club's history.

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