As Toni Kroos steps into retirement, having played his final match for Real Madrid in the Champions League final, another veteran, Nacho Fernandez, finds himself at a crossroads. Nacho, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is deliberating whether to stay with Real Madrid. The alternative is to seek new opportunities elsewhere, notably in Major League Soccer or potentially the Saudi Pro League.

The 34-year-old has been a loyal servant to Madrid, having made 45 appearances this season. However, his future has been uncertain. Earlier reports suggested that Nacho had informed the club of his intention to leave for free, with a preference for MLS over other options. This decision was influenced by a perceived lack of faith from manager Carlo Ancelotti, who occasionally preferred Aurelien Tchouameni in defense.

Despite his initial resolve to leave, recent weeks have brought about a shift in the veteran’s stance. The veteran defender has been pivotal in Los Blancos’ late-season successes, featuring prominently in both semi-finals and the Champions League final. His performance and the team’s celebratory atmosphere have prompted him to reconsider his departure.

How Ancelotti plans to Nacho at Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly played a significant role in this period of reflection for Nacho. Despite earlier tensions, the Italian has made repeated pleas for Nacho to remain at the club. During the Champions League final celebrations, Ancelotti even allegedly urged the player not to make a rash decision about leaving.

“Don’t do something crazy, stay here, with us, at Real Madrid,” Ancelotti is quoted as saying, according to Marca. The Italian manager values Nacho’s contributions on and off the pitch. Thus, he has highlighted his leadership and professionalism as critical assets for the team.

While a move to MLS seemed likely, it has not materialized as anticipated. Offers from Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr and other Saudi clubs have also been on the table, but Nacho has shown reluctance to relocate to the Middle East. His family’s preferences and his own career aspirations have made these options less attractive.

While the defender has a renewal offer from the La Liga winners, the defender is weighing his options carefully. The excitement and competitive nature of playing for Real Madrid are unmatched, but Nacho must consider his playing opportunities, especially with other top defenders likely to reclaim their positions next season.

What now for Nacho?

Real Madrid appears keen to retain Nacho, providing him with a contract extension. The club recognizes his role not just as a player but as a mentor and symbol of dedication. Nacho embodies the values that Real Madrid holds dear, making him an ideal figure for younger players to emulate, Marca says.

But despite Ancelotti’s efforts and the emotional pull of recent celebrations, the future remains uncertain. Nacho’s final decision will hinge on multiple factors, including potential offers from other leagues and his ambitions.

In contrast to Nacho’s uncertain future, Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez have both confirmed their extensions with Real Madrid. Modric, a key figure in midfield, declared his intention to stay during the Champions League celebrations.

Lucas Vazquez has also earned a contract extension, having impressed the club’s management with his performances over the past season. Their extensions provide some stability to the squad amid these changes.