Odegaard, James, Kovacic lead list of loanees unlikely to return
Rodrygo will arrive in the summer and aim to establish himself like Vinicius has but there are many others whose future probably lies outside Madrid.
Real Madrid have 11 players out on loan this season. Here we assess the chance of each of them returning to the Bernabéu this summer or being sold or loaned again.
Raúl de Tomás (Rayo)
Possibly the player with the greatest chance of featuring for Madrid next season, the Zidane protegee has banged in 13 goals for Rayo this season. Real are unlikely to sign another number nine this summer and will need someone happy to play second fiddle to Karim Benzema and De Tomás fits the bill. Mariano looks likely to leave the Bernabñeu again having scored just twice across 20 appearances in 2018-19 and at 24 De Tomás can afford to bide his time.
Martin Odegaard (Vitesse)
The Norway midfielder is enjoying a fine season at Vitesse but there are two factors working against him being re-incorporated at Madrid. Firstly, he did have the smoothest of relationships with Zidane during his time at Castilla and there is a glut of players already on the books who occupy a similar position. Marco Asensio and Vinicius will be going nowhere and a lot depends on what Isco and Toni Kroos decide to do this summer. However, Odegaard is still only 20, under contract until 2021 and prospering on loan so another year elsewhere may suit both parties and Ajax are reportedly keen to pursue a permanent deal.
Theo Hernández (Real Sociedad)
It seems unlikely Hernández will wear the white shirt again after a disappointing 2017-18 season at the Bernabéu. He has hardly been in the sort of form at Real Sociedad that he displayed for Alavés during his spell there and the emergence of Sergio Reguilón means Hernández will probably be sold in the summer with Fran García of Castilla also pushing for promotion to the first team.
Borja Mayoral (Levante)
Mayoral took some time to work his way in to Paco López’s plans at the Ciutat de Valencia but has scored five this season and made 11 league starts. However, if he returns to Madrid again it will be with the expectation of playing time and with Benzema in his current form Real are looking for a more willing understudy. Levante are keen to keep the 22-year-old for another season but Mayoral is eager to try something different and could follow Achraf Hakimi to the Bundesliga, where he spent a season on loan at Wolfsburg.
James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich)
Bayern have the final say on whether James stays at the Allianz Arena or not, with a unilateral purchase option for 42 million euros. The Colombian’s time in Bavaria has not been entirely without incident and Bayern have cooled on the idea but it is equally unlikely that he will find a spot in the team under Zidane, with whom he had a fractious relationship during his final season at the Bernabéu. James is still a valuable asset though and Madrid are likely to cash in one way or another this summer.
Rodrygo Goes (Santos)
The Brazilian youngster will arrive in the Spanish capital this summer and aim to “do a Vinicius.” The 18-year-old who signed last summer initially to play for Castilla has become a regular starter and a fan favourite already. Madrid want Rodrygo to continue to get regular playing time and he may find it hard to break into the team in a similar fashion but he will be given the same opportunities as his compatriot to make an impression.
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea)
No chance. The manner of his departure did not go down well in the corridors of power and the Croatia midfielder has expressed his desire to remain at Chelsea. The FIFA sanction hanging over the Premier League club may throw a spanner in those works, which will open up the door to a return to Serie A, with a permanent deal suiting all parties.
Óscar Rodríguez (Leganés)
Madrid are more than happy with the young attacking midfielder’s progression at Leganés in his debut season in the top flight but at just 20 years old he won’t be shifting more senior players out of the starting line-up at the Bernabéu any time soon, particularly if Eden Hazard arrives as expected. He is one for the future and highly regarded at the Bernabéu but will probably go out on loan again next year.
Andriy Lunin (Leganés)
The 20-year-old Ukraine international, also on loan at Leganés, has been understudy to Carlos Cuéllar and will only return to the Bernabéu if he is number two next season. That will only occur if either Thibaut Courtois or Keylor Navas leave this summer.
Achraf Hakimi (Dortmund)
The Morocco international has another year left on his loan deal at the Bundesliga club and Madrid did not insert an early return clause into the contract. The 20-year-old will return after the 2019-20 season as the long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal after a breakthrough campaign at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund are keen to buy the right back on a permanent basis but Madrid will not be listening to offers.
Lucas Silva (Cruzeiro)
Still under contract to Madrid until 2020, the Brazilian will not be returning this summer after loan at Marseille and Cruzeiro, his formative club. If an offer comes in, he will be sold.