Luka Modric and Toni Kroos expected to sign new Real Madrid contracts – here are the key reasons why
Real Madrid’s veteran midfielders Luke Modric and Toni Kroos are both expected to sign new one-year contracts and extend their stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, although the status and timing of the two processes are different.
In the case of Kroos, 33, both player and club have already reached an agreement. Talks began in the early months of this year, as the player always wanted, and were conducted quickly and in an atmosphere of total harmony, several sources with in-depth knowledge of the situation told The Athletic.
Kroos delayed negotiations with the club in order to gauge his physical and mental level, with the return of the Champions League. He has felt good and, moreover, has seen that the team’s younger midfield options, despite playing well, have not overtaken him in the coach’s preferences.
Madrid respected Kroos’ preferences on timing as much as possible, while at the same time letting him know in informal talks that they would like him to stay. In fact, sources familiar with the situation, who like all those quoted in this story preferred to remain anonymous to protect their positions, say Madrid were even willing to offer him a longer contract.
However, Kroos has opted for just one more season, in a carefully considered choice. The 2014 World Cup winner has said on various occasions, both publicly and privately, that his intention is not to keep on playing longer than he feels appropriate. He would prefer to end his career at the elite level, and still in good condition.
Later on Monday, Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti was asked about Kroos’ renewal and said: “He is a legend. He is at a good level physically and mentally. As he already said, he would like to finish his career at Madrid.”
Negotiations with Modric, 37, are not so far advanced, but multiple sources have told The Athletic that he is expected, like Kroos, to sign an extension beyond his contract that expires this summer.
Club sources highlight an important moment in this process: a meeting that took place between the Croatian and Madrid president Florentino Perez before the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Barcelona on April 5.
This meeting was at the request of the player. Madrid sources told The Athletic that Modric wanted to convey directly to Perez his desire to stay and it has always been his priority to do so. Modric had already said the same thing publicly, speaking to the media before the team’s Champions League last 16 first leg at Anfield in February.
Perez, who has a great relationship with Modric, valued the fact he wanted a meeting, and took what was said very positively, especially as several media reports had linked the player with lucrative offers from Saudi Arabia. According to sources familiar with the situation, Modric has also received a big-money offer from a club in Qatar. Perez conveyed his appreciation while informing Modric the club was very open to him staying. Modric’s performances since have only reinforced this position.
As with Kroos, Madrid boss Ancelotti has no doubts over Modric’s importance to his team, and has stated as much both publicly and privately.
The curious case of Luka Modric — football’s Benjamin Button
(Photos: Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images, Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)
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