Real Madrid: Which center back is most likely to leave?

Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid fans are staring down an interesting situation developing at the center back position, because there are three players who have expiring contracts at the end of this season and next season, as well as a fourth player whose future could be impacted by the others.

Sergio Ramos’ contract will run its course at the end of the 2020-2021 season, and Real Madrid have yet to agree to a deal with their captain. Meanwhile, both Nacho Fernandez and Raphael Varane’s contracts run out after the 2021-2022 campaign. 

Out of those three players, only Nacho’s future seems secure. He loves the club, he’s affordable, and the club is enthused with his performances in the 2020-2021 season whenever Sergio Ramos has been injured. It does not hurt, either, that Nacho is the most versatile of the three and can play anywhere in the back four.

But the futures of Ramos and Varane are much more uncertain. Which of the two is more likely to leave? At this point, it seems hard to choose, because there are certain factors that are difficult in either case. Ramos is the one with the most immediate exit ahead of him and does not have a deal in place. But Varane seems to be interested in seeking a new challenge. He’s been actively linked with moves to PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester United. All would make sense.

Why Raphael Varane is more likely to leave Real Madrid than Sergio Ramos

Despite the fact that Ramos is close to becoming a free agent, I still think it is more likely that Real Madrid and the captain will come to an agreement. He just means so much to the club and has accomplished so much with Los Blancos that it seems hard to conceive him walking away from his legacy in Madrid. And for what? To make a few extra bucks in Paris? It doesn’t make sense.

Eder Militao’s breakout has been fantastic, and Real must hold onto him at all costs. He is already a starting-caliber player, to be honest. But in order for him to start, one of Varane or Ramos has to go. Varane is younger and more valuable, but Ramos brings the goals and passing out of the back that the club cannot get from anyone else. And that’s not even mentioning his leadership, which is still vital.

So when it comes down to it, I believe Varane is the most likely of the three players to go, with Eder Militao taking his spot in the XI. Real Madrid have seemingly signed David Alaba for next season, but he is more of a left back, center back, and center midfield utility option. And center back is his worst position of the three, to be honest.

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Keeping Varane would be nice, but Real Madrid may have to sell him to the highest bidder. And based on what we have seen this season, it’s actually possible Militao ends up being an upgrade over him. Then, in the future, Real can think about who starts next to him when they replace Ramos in, say, two years. Thanks to Militao, Madridistas won’t have to sweat losing the world-class Varane nearly as much as they would have.