Real Madrid have seen a few big-name players leave the club for nothing recently – and there could be more to come next summer.
Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio and Mariano all left the Santiago Bernabeu on free transfers at the end of the 2022/23 season.
While Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo have since signed new long-term deals, we’ve taken a look at the five Madrid players who currently have less than a year left on their contracts.
Note: we’ve not included Kepa Arrizabalaga and Joselu, who both joined Madrid on season-long loan deals in the summer.
Once regarded as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in Europe, Lunin joined Real Madrid from FC Zorya Luhansk in the summer of 2018.
But he’s been unable to usurp first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and has made just 19 appearances for the club in all competitions.
After Courtois suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury at the start of the 2023/24 season, Madrid decided to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan from Chelsea instead of giving Lunin an extended run in the team.
“At the end of last season I thought about it,” he recently told El Chiringuito TV when asked about the prospect of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It’s normal when you don’t play. But Real Madrid has been my dream since childhood, so I don’t want to leave. But you always want to play, you train to play, you want to experience the emotion of matches. We’ll see, right now I’m focused on training.”
The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to Scottish Premiership side Celtic as they identify a possible long-term replacement for current No.1 Joe Hart.
A Real Madrid academy graduate, Vazquez spent the 2014/15 season at Espanyol before Los Blancos triggered a €1million buyback clause.
He’s since made over 300 appearances for the club in all competitions, establishing himself as a valuable and dependable utility player.
Having initially played as a right winger, the 32-year-old now operates at right-back and acts as a back-up to Dani Carvajal.
But he is yet to be offered a contract extension by Madrid and could be deemed surplus to requirements at the end of the season.
Vazquez is reportedly the subject of interest from Serie A giants Juventus, who can offer him a pre-contract agreement in January.
The longest-serving player at Real Madrid, Nacho came through their academy and was handed his senior debut by Jose Mourinho in April 2011.
He has never been a regular starter for Madrid but has provided reliable cover across the backline, racking up over 300 appearances in all competitions.
The centre-back was out of contract at the end of the 2022/23 season and considered a move away from the club in search of more regular first-team football.
But he ultimately signed a one-year contract extension and also took on the role of club captain after Karim Benzema accepted a lucrative offer from Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad.
While the 33-year-old would like to spend his entire career at the Santiago Bernabeu, he is prepared to leave if the circumstances aren’t right.
“I have the one club man thing in my head,” he told Cadena Cope. “If next year I still feel just as good, I’ll extend another year. I would love to retire here, but not in any way. Being important, playing a lot of games and minutes.”
He was linked with Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus and Roma in the summer and they could potentially reignite their interest in the defender in 2024.
Since joining Real Madrid from Tottenham in a €35million deal in the summer of 2012, Modric has established himself as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.
He has made over 500 appearances for the club and has won 23 trophies, including three La Liga titles and five Champions Leagues.
The Croatia international snubbed a €66.6million-a-year offer from Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal in the summer and signed a one-year contract extension at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But he has fallen down the pecking order following the arrival of Jude Bellingham and has started just six games in all competitions this season.
The 38-year-old is reportedly unhappy with his current situation and is widely expected to end his long association with Los Blancos in 2024.
He has been linked with a return to former club Dinamo Zagreb and is also attracting interest from Inter Miami, who recently signed Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.
🇭🇷🪄 Luka Modrić’s catalogue of goals…
Still going strong at 38-years-old! 😍pic.twitter.com/jHBHCxQZmj
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) November 4, 2023
Kroos has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Real Madrid, winning three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues, five FIFA World Club Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and a Copa del Rey.
The former Bayern Munich midfielder signed a one-year contract extension in the summer, taking him into his 10th season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But his game time has been reduced in 2023/24 as manager Carlo Ancelotti has favoured a new-look midfield of Aurelien Tchoumeni, Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Jude Bellingham.
The 33-year-old has previously admitted that he plans to retire at a high level and does not want to see his career fizzle out from the substitutes bench.
“Right now I don’t want to commit to anything,” he recently told his ‘Einfach mal luppen’ podcast when asked if he will hang up his boots in 2024.
“Don’t know. Perhaps there will be a much earlier, clearer decision… or not. Why close off either option now? There is no reason, at least not now. We’ll see how the year starts, how everything goes. Then I will ask myself the same questions as this year.”
But the former Germany international could also pursue a new challenge in 2024 and has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, including Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.