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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Exits now coming thick and fast at LaLiga giants

Real Madrid have offloaded no fewer than four players in the first week of July, with more to follow them out of the Bernabéu exit door.

Real Madrid: Exits now coming thick and fast at LaLiga giants
C. Brunskill / J. Barbancho / A. Blankespoor / C. Díaz Getty / AFP / Getty / Diario AS

As Real Madrid get ready to kick off their pre-season preparations, this first week of July has been a frenetic one at the club's offices. When he returns to work on Monday, head coach Zinedine Zidane will find himself with a squad from which a few players still need to be offloaded, but which has nevertheless been noticeably slimmed down from the possible 37-strong group he could have been in charge of.

Read also: Player sales have already covered Hazard signing

Four exits sealed so far this month, more to come

Following the end of last season, Madrid placed their focus on the signings of Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy, with the arrivals of Rodrygo Goes and Éder Militao already agreed. Then, having turned their attentions from transfer ins to transfer outs (amid their ongoing pursuit of Paul Pogba), Los Blancos announced their first player departure on 20 June, as Marcos Llorente joined Atlético Madrid. After a 10-day hiatus, the exits then came thick and fast this week.

Within the first five days of July, Madrid sealed two sales - Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea and Raúl de Tomás to Benfica - and shipped a further two players out on loan, Sergio Reguilón moving to Sevilla and Martin Odegaard signing for Real Sociedad. The next to go will be Theo Hernández. The left-back has already passed a medical and agreed terms with AC Milan, but the clubs are yet to confirm that they have reached a deal over an expected 20m-euro switch.

Theo's departure will leave Zidane with a first-team squad of 31, of which he is to take 24 on Madrid's tour of the United States on Tuesday. The Frenchman will also add six Castilla players to his travelling party, including recent recruit Takefusa Kubo, leaving Los Merengues with a 30-man working group.

Vallejo, Ceballos, James, Mayoral all in frame to leave

Militao, Casemiro, Federico Valverde, James Rodríguez, Jesús Vallejo, Dani Ceballos and Borja Mayoral will all be absent when the squad flies out. The first four in that list have been (or continue to be) involved in the Copa América - a state of affairs that has prevented Madrid from officially unveiling Militao - while Vallejo, Ceballos and Mayoral are fresh from winning the European Under-21 Championship with Spain.

It remains to be seen how many of them end up reporting for pre-season. More exits are planned in the weeks ahead, and four of this septet of players not due back right away - Vallejo, Ceballos, James and Mayoral - are in line to leave the Bernabéu.