Zinedine Zidane confirmed in his post-match press conference that Denis Cheryshev could leave Real Madrid tomorrow. “We'll see tomorrow but yes, Cheryshev could leave. He's a great player but he needs to be playing regularly. The most important thing for him is that he gets minutes. He is a hard-working player and he needs to be building up playing time. I wish him the best. If he has the chance to leave, I’d be delighted for him. We’ll see what happens tomorrow”, Zidane replied to a reporter in one of the first questions put to him after Sunday’s 6-0 win over Espanyol. Zidane’s reply suggests that talks, with at least one club, must be at an advanced stage.
His destination, should he decide to stay in Spain, could be Sevilla – where he spent the 2012-2013 campaign, although his season was cut short after he suffered two serious injuries – a hamstring tear and fractured metatarsal meant he hardly figured for Unai Emery’s side.
If the operation goes through, it will likely be a loan deal until the end of the season; giving Madrid the opportunity to bring him back in the summer should the FIFA transfer ban prohibit them from signing. Cheryshev knows the club and the coach and would also be a handy companion for Ukrainian Yevhen Konoplyanka – both Slavic language speakers.
The possibility of returning to Villarreal to spend the rest of the season on loan has been ruled out – as club president Fernando Roig confirmed a few days ago. As it stands, the Russia international’s future looks to be in the Premier League.
Back in November, there was speculation about possible bids from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea; but Spanish radio Cadena COPE claimed on Saturday night that Liverpool are the closest to landing the player - claims which have been refuted on Merseyside. Liverpool have long held an interest in Cheryshev and openly stated their interest last summer but a move to Anfield was blocked by Rafa Benítez who decided to keep the midfielder in his squad.
Cheryshev, 25, has clocked just 117 minutes playing time this term; having taken part in just six matches. He only figured in the starting line-up once – in the ill-fated Copa del Rey Round of 32 tie away at Cádiz. He was taken off at half-time after it was discovered he was ineligible to play and should have been serving a suspension carried over from the previous season when he was on loan at Villarreal.
He has not appeared in any of the last eight squad lists, under Benítez or Zidane since then. The deadline to register players with the English FA ends at 23:00 hours GMT (00:00 in Spain) on Monday.
The only obstacle in the way of a direct sale is the two-inscription period transfer bad which FIFA have served Real Madrid although last week the Spanish club gained an embargo until the case is reviewed by the Appeals Committee. In any case, Cheryshev would be able to go out on loan and return in June should the transfer ban be upheld. His current contract with Madrid is due to expire on 30 June 2017.