Real Madrid have a grand total of seven players potentially out of contract at the end of the season, with some cases more certain than others.
Veterans Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are all welcome to stay on at the club and there are unlikely to be any problems in their negotiations. Meanwhile Mariano Diaz will not be offered a renewal.
Then there are three players in a sort of limbo. Veteran Nacho Fernandez has been a hot topic both within the Real Madrid dressing room and in the public domain.
There has been a sense that Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos were more likely to leave than to stay, with little advance on their contract situations. However their performances against Villarreal were evidence that they can be of use to Los Blancos.
“Ceballos and Asensio changed the dynamics of the match, because they put in more quality and energy, they were decisive in turning the result around,” commented Carlo Ancelotti to Marca.
Josse Manuel Calderon would go on to write that they are making the case for their renewals, especially with the winning goal, which was an Asensio assist for a Ceballos finish.
While Real Madrid could perhaps find theoretically better squad options, finding players that are both as committed, comfortable and cheap as Ceballos and Asensio would be a tricky task. Equally, basing decisions off the final year of their contract compared to years of evidence is a dangerous game.