Real Madrid captain Nacho in advanced talks to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad

Real Madrid captain Nacho is in advanced talks over a move to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad. 

The 34-year-old defender, whose contract expires later this month, joined Madrid aged 10 and has spent his entire career with the Spanish club.

He informed Real Madrid and head coach Carlo Ancelotti of his intention to depart when his contract expires more than two months ago but has since had doubts over this stance.

Nacho, who is part of the Spain squad for the European Championships in Germany this summer, was offered a new contract by the club. 

He signed a one-year contract extension in June 2023 and was appointed as the club’s captain succeeding Karim Benzema, who departed for Al Ittihad. He is now closing in on a move to reunite with the French striker in Saudi Arabia.

Nacho’s potential departure, along with a number of injuries in defence this season, emphasise the need for Madrid to bring in reinforcements and The Athletic reported earlier in April that they are among several top European clubs actively pursuing Lille centre-back Leny Yoro this summer.

Nacho, meanwhile, ascended through Madrid’s youth teams and made his senior debut for the club in 2011 under the management of Jose Mourinho.

He has gone on to make 363 appearances for Madrid, scoring 16 goals and assisting 10 times in that period.

Nacho has won 26 trophies with Madrid, including five Champions Leagues and four La Liga titles. Marcelo and Benzema left the club with 25 trophies.

The adaptable centre-back, who has demonstrated his versatility by playing at both right and left back, has earned 24 caps for the Spanish national team since making his senior debut in 2013.

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