Real Madrid are already preparing for the exit of defender Raphael Varane, according to reports in Spain.
The French defender has just one year remaining on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu but reportedly has no intentions to renew his current deal.
Twice Madrid have tabled a bid to the 28-year-old and neither has persuaded Varane to put pen to paper.
Instead he has gone back to the club and asked for clarity on the direction the team is heading and which players will be signed ahead of next season.
New arrivals will be scarce with Madrid’s finances in a perilous situation, and the club have now accepted the fact that Varane will not be renewing his contract.
That is according to Spanish outlet Cadena SER, who claim Varane has become demotivated with life at Madrid.
He has already won every major honour with the Los Blancos, including four Champions League titles, and is believed to be intrigued by the possibility of a new challenge elsewhere.
The report states that Madrid have the view that a deal can be done to satisfy all parties.
They value their centre-back in the region of £60-80million but may have to reduce their asking price given they are in a difficult position with his contract.
Failure to offload Varane this summer puts the club at significant risk of losing him for nothing next year.
To complicate matters further, Madrid have also let fellow centre-back Sergio Ramos go on a free transfer.
The 35-year-old was offered a new deal, though it was believed to include a 10% pay cut.
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Ramos claimed he mulled over the offer before eventually accepting, by which time Madrid had taken it off the table.
“I’ve never wanted to leave,” Ramos said during a Zoom press conference. “The club offered me one year, with a drop in salary. I wanted two years, not for the money, for continuity for me and my family. The economic issue was never a problem.
“Then I decided to accept the offer that I thought was on the table, of one year, but I was told that the offer wasn’t there any more. They told my agent that the offer had expired a week ago. The truth is I don’t know why the offer expired, I can’t answer that. There was a negotiation and maybe I misunderstood.”
Losing Varane and Ramos in one summer is not a position Madrid wanted to find themselves in but they do have adequate cover to fill the gaps.
The arrival of David Alaba on a free has essentially offset the loss of Ramos, while Jesus Vallejo is set to return to the club following his loan at Granada.
It is expected that Vallejo will be fourth choice back-up at centre-half, behind Alaba and the impressive pairing of Nacho and Eder Militao – both of whom have performed well this past season.
That is unless Carlo Ancelotti can convince Varane to stay but Madrid chiefs are resigned to losing him.