Real Madrid are preparing to clear out a raft of mid-tier players this summer, with Marcos Llorente and Dani Ceballos near the top of the list of potential departures.
The midfield pair have struggled for game time since Zinedine Zidane's return to the club, and at 24 and 22 years of age respectively are now at the point of their careers that they need to be playing regularly.
Zidane sees no potential whatsoever in Dani Ceballos yet he keeps giving relevant minutes to Lucas Vazquez. It's quite disappointing.— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) April 20, 2019
Marca report that the squad for Sunday's 3-0 win over Athletic Club gave a hint into Zidane's medium-to-long term plans – with the two midfielders not included in the matchday squad.
Ceballos' future may have been sealed more than six months ago, when he spoke in the wake of Zidane's departure from the club, clearly not expecting the Frenchman's speedy return to the Bernabeu.
"During the regular season, I felt frustration and resentment towards Zidane," he told Radio Marca at the time.
"There was a moment in the season when both Kroos and Modric were injured but he opted to change the style of play to bring in others players instead. It burns you a little and hurts you. We were 15 points behind Barça and only had the Champions League to look forward to but I also did not enter those dynamics."
Real Madrid are excited at the idea of grooming Xabi Alonso as a manager, & perhaps keeping him in their back pocket for a future head-coaching position for the senior side.@KiyanSo on Xabi Alonso, the next great Real Madrid manager?https://t.co/dXGXouRUwG#WhiteboardFootball pic.twitter.com/mu5T7Y7WTw— Tifo Football (@TifoFootball_) April 23, 2019
Sergio Reguilon has dropped back out of first team contention since Zidane's return to replace Santiago Solari, having replaced an unfit and out of form Marcelo in the first team for a brief time – with reports linking the Brazilian with a move to Juventus at the end of the season.
Since his reinstatement to the first team under Zidane, those rumours have quietened. Obviously.