Real Madrid outcast Fabio Coentrao is reportedly set to complete a loan move to Sporting Clube de Portugal ahead of the 2017-2018 season. O Jogo claims that the Portugal international is expected to undergo a medical in the coming hours as the clubs have already ironed out the terms of the agreement.
Coentrao, 29, spent the 2015-2016 season on loan at Monaco after being deemed surplus to requirements by former manager Rafa Benitez. Zinedine Zidane decided to recall him last summer as he had no other specialist left-back to provide back-up for Marcelo.
However, the former Benfica star has been restricted to only six appearances during the whole campaign, having been hit by different injuries since the beginning of the season.
The versatile Nacho has provided cover during Marcelo's absences this season and in March Coentrao himself revealed he was anticipating that he would need to leave Real Madrid this summer.
"I'm not in condition to play for Real Madrid. We should all admit our limitations at some point in our lives and I feel that right now this club demands a level of play I'm not at," Coentrao said then. "Maybe returning to Portugal would help me recover the level of play I once had. I want to return to my best next season. I have a contract with Real Madrid until 2019, so if they continue to count on me, perfect – if not I'll choose my own path. I hope to play three or four more years at the highest level. I know I can do it."
Coentrao's departure now appears to be a formality and O Jogo now reports that it could be only a matter of hours before the deal is confirmed.
The Portuguese publication claims that Real Madrid and Sporting have already reached an agreement for the left-back to spend the 2017-2018 campaign in his homeland.
The report added that Los Blancos will pay 90% of Coentrao's salary in order to help the defender resurrect his career under his former Benfica manager Jorge Jesus. O Jogo adds that Coentrao is expected to undergo his medical at the Portuguese side in the coming hours to complete the move.
This would explain why the left-back was not at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night (4 June) when the rest of his Real Madrid teammates celebrated their Champions League crown with their supporters.
Coentrao's loan move to Sporting would be Zidane's first major decision ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer at the Bernabeu. Real Madrid are tipped to sign Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid to fill the gap left by Coentrao while the futures of Pepe, James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata remain uncertain.
Furthermore, Los Blancos have already signed Vinicius de Oliveira Junior from Flamengo but the 16-year-old wonderkid will continue his development in Brazil until the summer of 2019.