By the time the summer transfer sessions rolls around on July 1, there seems to be an excellent chance Real Madrid will have far more exits to fret over than new arrivals. Los Blancos appear to have recovered from several hiccups over the last couple of months, and sit only two points back of first-place Barcelona on La Liga table and are still very much a threat to repeat as Champions League victors.
And yet speculation continues to swirl around boss Carlo Ancelotti’s future with Real Madrid. Amidst talk of a possible switch to Premier League’s Manchester City, Ancelotti didn’t say much to discredit the recent reports.
"I have another year on my contract," Ancelotti said to Tiempa Extra. "We have spoken about sitting down to talk about a new deal but never set a concrete date to meet. I'm not in any hurry. I have another year on my contract.
"If the club does not call me to renew today, maybe they will call in September, or December, or maybe nobody calls me. I am not going to ask for it."
It was only a year ago that Ancelotti guided Madrid to a double, laying claim to Copa Del Rey and Champions League, but the 55-year-old Italian stressed coaches are always judged by what they’ve done lately, not in the past.
"Today they talked about [Jurgen] Klopp to Manchester City so ... We coaches know that it depends on results. Anything can happen," Ancelotti said. "It is the same as last year in this period. If we did not win the Champions League ... and in the end we won it. They are saying the same again, and maybe we will win it again."
With only seven La Liga matches remaining, and at most four in Champions League, Ancelotti will certainly have the opportunity to re-secure his position, but his possible dismissal won’t be the first send off at the Bernabeu this summer.
According to Daily Mail, Madrid have already made it very clear they will not be re-signing German international midfielder Sami Khedira, and that defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi could be sold off as well.
The Mail indicated that Manchester United and struggling Bundesliga side Schalke are intrigued by Khedira, who’s scored six goals in 102 appearances for Madrid since 2010. However, injuries have limited the 28-year-old to only 17 appearances this term, and thus Madrid are balking at a new deal.
Arsenal could be another landing spot of Khedira, but he’ll have to scale back his £190,000 per-week wage in order to fit the Gunners budget.
Illarramendi, 25, has drawn interest from Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Arsenal, and The Mail reports Madrid are hoping to attain an £18 million fee for the Spanish star. The most natural move for Illarramendi would be Sociedad, where he spent his youth career and the first three years of his senior career before Madrid tapped him in 2013.
Ancelotti, with whatever power or weight his voice might hold for now, also said earlier this week that goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas doesn’t need his protection from transfer speculation.
“Iker was very clear, he wants to stay. We want him to. I want him to,” Ancelotti said according to Metro. “He doesn’t need protection. Iker has broad shoulders and is a great professional.”
Metro indicated that Ancelotti’s declaration could signal the end of any talk of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea making his way to the Bernabeu.
Madrid have been hot on De Gea’s trail, with the 24-year-old Spaniard’s 80 saves and 10 clean sheets playing a major role in United’s unexpected rise to third on the Premier League table this term.
Holding on to the 33-year-old Casillas would be a much cheaper option for Madrid compared to De Gea’s price tag. Casillas' current market value sits at roughly £7 million, with the much younger De Gea’s valued at more than £20 million.
Much of the changes around Real Madrid will likely revolve around who their manager will be next season. Should Ancelotti be ushered out, any successor would probably shape the shape around their philosophy.