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SOCCER

MLS waits for Nacho

MLS clubs are keen on signing the Real Madrid centre-back, but the Spaniard’s wish is to sign a new contract with his current club.

Joe Brennan
Update:
MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 10: Nacho Fernandez of Real Madrid CF in action during the LaLiga Santander match between Real Madrid CF and Cadiz CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 10, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport ImagesGetty

Nacho will turn 33 on 18 January 2023, but his physical shape as an elite-level athlete would not suggest that (many have even said he should be in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the Qatar World Cup) and his performance levels remain impeccable.

According to what Diario AS have heard, Madrid’s third captain (behind Benzema and Modric) has received interest from teams in MLS over a possible move in the coming winter market. Teams from across the pond are reportedly very interested in acquiring the player from the current European champions, given it would be a huge publicity statement, the likes of which we have seen with the arrival of David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

MLS interest leading the way for Nacho

The Real Madrid brand is incredibly popular in the US, where there are large supporters’ groups in places such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Florida. Nacho’s experience and versatility would make him the perfect fit in any team in MLS, as he can play all across the back line. David Beckham would like to see him play for his Inter Miami side, but Nacho does not want to leave his boyhood club. He has racked up an astonishing 286 games with Real Madrid and although he has played 600 minutes less than at this point last season, his intention is to speak with the club about a possible contract renewal, given his current deal only runs until the end of the season. He would like a deal until 2024.

Nacho is one of the few ‘One Club players’ left in Europe, and at Real Madrid there have only ever been four: Zárraga, Camacho, Chendo and Manolo Sanchis.

Nacho is a popular figure at Real Madrid

Nacho is very rooted to his life here. He lives in the city where he was born, Alcalá de Henares (about 30km from Madrid’s city centre) with his wife and two children, and they are waiting on the third. The Bernabéu crowd love him and the club have always valued his professionalism both on and off the pitch.

Ancelotti also appreciates the fact that despite his lack of minutes, Nacho never puts up a fight ands always puts the badge before himself. He has never complained to the media about his playing time. Carlo calls him a pessimistic defender, a compliment that suggests Nacho’s concentration does not drop for 90 minutes and he always prepares for the worst case scenario in the defensive line.

Italian interest

The defender is also attracting interest from AC Milan, who tried their luck over the summer. Roma are also keeping tabs on Nacho as are Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves, given that the Basque coach knows him since he was a youth player at Real Madrid. Nacho played 111 games for Real Madrid Castilla and added to that are his 286 games for the first team: Nacho should reach 300 this season. He’s staying; Nacho’s future still has one more chapter in in just yet.


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