De Tomás, Mascarell, Odegaard... Zidane exit leaves returning Real Madrid players' futures up in air
Real Madrid have had more than 20 players out at clubs across the globe, and their futures remain undecided as the club seeks a new boss.
Real Madrid have a whole host of players who are due to return from loan spells (or be re-purchased) this summer. Last season, they had more than 20 players out at sides across Europe and beyond, be they first-teamers who were not in the coach's plans (such as Fabio Coentrao and Lucas Silva), or Castilla youngsters who were either not ready for the 'B' team or, by contrast, had outgrown it (e.g. Omar Mascarell, Raúl de Tomás, Federico Valverde, Martin Odegaard...)
A raft of players whose Real Madrid futures are to be decided
With Zinedine Zidane's successor still to be named and Real's pre-season plans up in the air, decisions over the futures of returning players appear largely on hold. What to do, for example, with Coentrao, who is under contract at the Bernabéu until 2019 and was sent back early from his season-long stint at Sporting CP? Or Castillistas like Sergio Díaz, who has had a year at Lugo in Segunda, or Mink Peeters, who has been at Almere City in his native Netherlands? Or Aleix Febas at Real Zaragoza and Javi Muñoz at Lorca, who have picked up game time in Spain's second and third tiers, respectively? Only Philipp Lienhart has had his next move sorted out, having made his loan stay at Germans Freiburg permanent.
Mascarell, De Tomás, Valverde, Odegaard, Silva
Of the above, it is Mascarell, De Tomás, Valverde, Odegaard and Silva who appear best-placed to force their way into the thinking of Los Blancos' next boss.
When it comes to going out on loan, the third time was certainly the charm for De Tomás. Following previous stints at Real Valladolid and Córdoba, the striker exploded into life at Rayo Vallecano, scoring 24 times in 32 appearances to fire the Madrid outfit to promotion from Segunda last term. The 23-year-old, who has a year left on his contract at Real, recently warned in an interview with the magazine Panenka that he has little intention of going back to the Bernabéu just to be a bench-warmer, declaring: "I don't want to be Borja Mayoral".
After an impressive two seasons at Eintracht Frankfurt - during which he has made 45 appearances and scored two goals - the club are set to buy back Mascarell, who has also been linked with Bayern Munich and Schalke, for a fee of around four million euros. The midfielder could well take Marcos Llorente's place in the squad.
Odegaard played 26 times and scored two goals for Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen in 2017/18. Under contract at Real Madrid until 2021, the 19-year-old Norwegian has said that a loan switch to another top-flight team in Spain next season could well be an option.
Midfielder Valverde spent last season at Deportivo La Coruña, featuring on 25 occasions for the Galicians as they were relegated from LaLiga Santander, and just missed out on Uruguay's World Cup squad. Deportivo are keen to keep him at Riazor for their promotion bid next year.
The Brazilian, who cost Real Madrid 14 million euros when he signed for them in 2015, still has another 12 months on his contract. After a disastrous couple of years following his move to the Bernabéu, he has re-established himself as a footballer at first club Cruzeiro, amassing 31 appearances over the past 12 months.