Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane is thought to be considering his future in the Spanish capital, potentially in search of a new challenge.
The 27-year-old joined Los Blancos almost a decade ago, and has enjoyed a glittering and trophy laden career both domestically and in Europe. In his near ten-year tenure, Varane has won three La Liga titles, four Champions League and is now approaching 350 appearances for the club.
But his time in Madrid has now been called into question by Spanish newspaper Sport, who state that Varane's past successes have left him hungry to seek a new and different challenge. Their report notes that the Frenchman, who also lifted the World Cup in 2018, feels his time at Real Madrid may be in its 'final stages', hinting at a desire to move away.
The five-year contract that he signed in 2017 is up next summer, meaning Real could look to cash in on Varane this summer to ensure they can still command a respectable fee for his services.
But a pinch of salt should perhaps be sprinkled over Sport's story, as the outlet are known for their allegiance and close ties to Real's fierce rivals Barcelona. Nevertheless, if Varane is seeking a possible move away, panic stations may set in among the club's hierarchy as they appear to be no closer to tying captain Sergio Ramos down to a new deal.
The Spain legend is out of contract in the summer and looks as close to leaving the club as he ever has done before. He's been linked with most of the Premier League's big six, and an alleged falling out with president Florentino Perez could spell the end of his 16-year association with the club.
The positives for Real Madrid are that not only are they close to finalising the signing of soon-to-be free agent David Alaba, they may be able to lean on manager Zinedine Zidane's positive relationship with Varane in order to persuade him to stay.
Zidane played a key role in persuading Varane to join Real Madrid in 2011, and the paternal bond that they have shared as manager and player could be a determining factor in whether he pushes for a move away. From Real's perspective, they'll be determined to ensure that either Ramos or Varane depart, not both - and in an ideal world, neither.