Real Madrid is home to some of the best players on the planet, but not everyone can fit in their squad. As a result, four players could potentially be set to leave the club on free transfers at the end of their contracts in the summer of 2022.
Every single one of the players in question is a multiple-time Champions League winner and Spanish champion, and yet they will leave the club for nothing if their contracts expire without being renewed.
Their departure will make room for the arrival of new signings for Carlo Ancelotti’s side, which may include French starboy Kylian Mbappe.
But in paying the wages to attract one of the best in the world, the club may lose two verified legends and a golden boy whose form has disappeared. The fourth player… well despite producing some of the best individual performances for Los Blancos in the modern era, he’s hated at the Bernabeu.
So here are all four players whose contracts are expiring at Real Madrid in the summer of 2022 and could be set to leave on a free transfer.
Everyone knows Bale is certain to leave Real at the end of the season and it will bring to an end one of the most bizarre spells for a player at a club in modern history;
He was crucial in winning several trophies, not forgetting four Champions Leagues, two finals of which he scored in. And yet he is discouraged by huge groups of their fans, seen as a parasite sucking money out of the club for not leaving whilst on huge wages.
They whistle at him when runs onto the pitch, despite all he has done for them and several Madrid legends telling them they should stop.
“I just don’t get it,” Bale said in 2020 about the boos. “Because if you’re not having a good time on the pitch, you would expect your fans to get behind you and try and make you do better because that will make them happy.
“But it seems to be they do the opposite. They just whistle you, which makes you feel worse, so you lose your confidence.
“Then you play worse, which is going to make them even more upset. It’s sort of a Real Madrid thing. Other clubs do it, but Real Madrid are especially known for it.”
Where Bale goes next is totally up in the air, but there’s also the possibility that if Wales don’t qualify for the World Cup he might decide to retire early.
After all, it goes ‘Wales, Golf, Madrid: in that order.’
⚡️🏴🏴🏴 ON THIS DAY!
8 years ago today, Gareth Bale scored THAT goal to win the Copa del Rey for Real Madrid against Barcelona ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ptXcscRSwI
— welshfootie (@welshfootie) April 16, 2022
Isco became something of a golden boy for Madrid when he joined them in 2013 from Malaga. He played regularly as a starter, but the past few seasons have seen his performances fall off a cliff, and now he barely plays.
That culminated in 2021 when he wasn’t selected for the Spanish Euro squad and, at 29, he seems past his best and is certainly surplus to requirements in the Spanish capital.
But he’ll be hoping that a free transfer in the summer can revitalize his career.
A move to Italy is heavily rumoured, with AC Milan and Fiorentina linked to him, both of which would be a good move for the creative and versatile Spaniard.
Don’t panic, there haven’t been any more twists to the tale: Modric seems certain to continue at the Santiago Bernabeu for at least one more season.
But we’ve had to include him here because the extension hasn’t been signed just yet.
It won’t be an issue, however. Real Madrid fans will likely be lucky enough to watch the Croat do ridiculous things that only he can do for a while yet.
READ: Remembering the night Luka Modric entered the pantheon of ‘world class’
It’s still a possibility Marcelo doesn’t leave in the summer, extending his contract like Modric, but the reality is that it may not be possible.
If he does leave, he will do so with his head held high and his status as a club legend secure. A mainstay of the four Champions League wins and one of the first names on the team sheet under multiple managers, the almost £6million Madrid paid Fluminense for him in 2007 is probably one of the bargains of the century.
Now 33-years-old and the club captain, he’s played considerably less this season than in previous ones.
“This is my club,” he said as reported by Marca. “I have the idea of playing until my son grows up so that I can play with him, and I want to keep going at a high level.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead. Everything comes to an end. I’d like to retire here, but it’s not up to me to make the decision.”
If he doesn’t reach an agreement with Madrid, there is a strong chance of a move back to Brazil.
Can you name Real Madrid’s XI that clinched the La Liga title in 2012?
The 4 Brits to have managed Real Madrid – & how they fared
Karim Benzema’s a Real magician… he cast a spell & the ball came to him
Six Real Madrid players vilified by the Spanish press: Bale, Owen…
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism