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Real Madrid stalwart 'decides to end 23-year career at club'

Real Madrid stalwart 'decides to end 23-year career at club'
© Reuters
Real Madrid captain Nacho Fernandez has reportedly made the decision to depart the club at the end of the season, prompting interest from Inter Milan, among other clubs.

Real Madrid's captain Nacho Fernandez has reportedly made the decision to depart the club at the end of the season, prompting interest from Inter Milan, among other clubs.

After progressing through the club's ranks, Nacho ascended to the role of captain this season, succeeding Karim Benzema following his departure to the Saudi Pro League.

The 34-year-old has been an integral part of Madrid's first-team setup for over a decade and has spent 23 years at the club in total.

The veteran defender steered Los Blancos to victory in the Spanish Super Cup and remains in contention to secure two additional titles, namely La Liga and the Champions League.

Real Madrid defender Nacho pictured in May 2022© Reuters

Nacho to leave Real Madrid at the end of 2023-24

According to Marca, the Spaniard has now chosen to depart from his longtime home in pursuit of a fresh chapter and has notified management of his decision to leave at the end of the current campaign.

Nacho's contract with Real Madrid is set to expire at the end of the season and his future has been a subject of speculation for some time now.

The report adds that Inter Milan were interested in signing the 34-year-old last season and could revisit the possibility of taking him to the Serie A.

It is understood that the Spanish giants are actively searching for a replacement, with Lille teenager Leny Yoro emerging as an early frontrunner for the position.

In the absence of David Alaba and Eder Militao, both of whom endured ACL ruptures at different junctures of the season, the Nacho has emerged as one of Carlo Ancelotti's primary defensive choices.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti reacts on April 9, 2024© Reuters

Ancelotti has frequently opted for a centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho, occasionally slotting in Aurelien Tchouameni to complement the duo.

In total, Nacho has accumulated 355 appearances for his hometown club, finding the back of the net on 16 occasions.

Throughout his tenure at Real Madrid, Nacho has secured an impressive tally of 20 trophies. Should the Merengues secure both La Liga and the Champions League titles this season, Nacho would become the most decorated player in the club's history.

Madrid currently lead La Liga by eight points and could extend that to 11 when they face rivals Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday evening.

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