Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez has suggested he will wait to see if Sergio Ramos signs a new contract before deciding whether to also agree fresh terms.
Long-serving centre-back Ramos is due to be out of contract at the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the campaign, while Nacho has another season to run on his deal.
Madrid have been in talks with Ramos over extending his stay, but head coach Zinedine Zidane recently admitted he is unsure if the Spain international will put pen to paper.
Nacho’s own future is far from certain and the 31-year-old, who has become a regular for Zidane, will see what Madrid’s plans are before making a decision on whether to commit.
“Of course, whether Madrid renew Ramos, or sign a central defender or two, are decisions that influence my future,” he said at a pre-match news conference on Monday.
“It’s normal, everything affects [the situation]. I will look at it, analyse it and talk with my club and my family.
“I have spoken with the club. I have this season left and one more. I will make the best decision for myself after speaking with my club.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 5, 2021
Ramos has not been included in Madrid’s 21-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool due to a calf injury sustained on international duty.
He has spent the past 16 seasons with Los Blancos but has been strongly linked with a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign.
“The best thing for him is that he stays,” Nacho said. “As a team-mate, a friend and a Madridista, I can only say that the best thing for the club is that he stays.
“Sergio is feeling down because he is our captain and will not be present during a key period of games.”
Nacho has featured 21 times for Madrid in all competitions this term and started both legs of the 4-1 aggregate win over Atalanta in the Champions League round of 16.
He leads the way for Madrid defenders to have played at least six times in LaLiga this season in terms of interceptions per 90 minutes (1.68), while only Raphael Varane (0.56) averages more blocks than Nacho (0.45).
“This may be the best period of my career,” he said. “I have the confidence that I have never previously felt.
“This is a dream and I hope the confidence lasts, which is what a player always wants.”
Madrid have won their last three meetings with Liverpool, most recently prevailing 3-1 in the Champions League final three years ago when Nacho was introduced as a first-half substitute.
Liverpool won their only previous two-legged European knockout tie with Madrid 5-0 on aggregate in the 2008-09 last 16, however, and Nacho is expecting a tightly-fought contest this time around.
“Since our previous meeting we have lost Cristiano [Ronaldo] and they have become champions themselves. But there is not that much difference between the sides,” he said.
“We enter the tie in a very good way. We are focused on our job.”