Real Madrid, like any other team, can only keep so many players on a squad for the season. The grueling process sometimes leaves players to the fate of being loaned.
Real Madrid has Sergio Canales, Royston Drenthe (pictured), Fernando Gago, David Mateos and Pedro Leon loaned out to respective teams across Spain and Europe.
Although Madrid have found chemistry in their current squad, Mourinho always has a few changes up his sleeve and on his mind. One decision is always on the loaned out players that many supporters forget about but are carefully being monitored by its home club.
Real Madrid have five players to decide on whether their contract is worth keeping, terminating or whether to ship them off into another loaned season.
Sergio Canales is a 20-year-old attacking midfielder who is on loan to Valencia. Real Madrid made the perfect move with Canales.
Sergio Canales came up through the ranks of Racing Santander and was bought into the first squad at just 17 years old. Racing and Real reached a deal believed to be worth €4.5 million plus incentives for the youngster.
After being integrated with the Madrid team last season, he would find it harder to make a case for a position with the addition of the Turkish superstars Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop. Real Madrid sent him in a great move to a solid team and a chance at a lot of playing time to improve his skills and gain experience.
Valencia have the services of Canales for at least two seasons with the deal. But he should be integrated with the team at the loans end.
Royston Drenthe is a speedy left-footed Dutch 24-year-old who came to Real Madrid in 2007. Drenthe came up through the ranks of Feyenoord and saw the switch to Spain at just 22 years old.
Drenthe is a good utility player who can play left-back, midfield and winger but mainly on the left side. In the two seasons before Mourinho showed up at Madrid, Drenthe had made 46 appearances and accumulated two goals.
Since Mourinho has taken over, he has had very little to no use for Drenthe, as he loaned him out to the small Spanish squad Hercules last season, where he made 17 caps, and Everton in the Premiership this season, where he has been in the lineup 10 times and notched two goals.
Drenthe is a fast, physical player who can outrun and tussle with any player. He seems a better fit to an English club than Real Madrid. With Mourinho on the throne, Drenthe is the odd man out for Madrid.
The Netherlands player can find success in England if he finds the right club; maybe he'll even have his contract picked up by Everton.
Fernando Gago is a holding defensive midfielder who started his career out in his native country, Argentina, with Boca Juniors. He saw the switch to Spain in 2007 when he joined Real Madrid.
The 25-year-old midfielder will have difficulty seeing the field in Madrid with the likes of Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso on the pitch. Gago is a quality player and can give benefits to many teams, but the level of competition at Real Madrid and with Jose Mourinho is too great to find him a spot.
The Serie A seems to be a good fit for the Argentine and he has seen great matches and success since being integrated to the club of the Italian capital. Although there is no question about Gago's skills, his return to Real Madrid's squad seems questionable and chances of winning a spot on the starting 11 are running extremely thin.
Although many Madrid faithful would like to see him return, he would have to accept his role as a sub and probably a Group Stage/Cup Match player. Nonetheless, Serie A has treated him very well. His loan comes with a purchase option.
David Mateos is a Real Madrid youth team prodigy. He came up through the ranks of Madrid since 1999 and the 24-year-old Spaniard was on the B team until 2010 when he was brought up to the first squad. He saw no playing time in the beginning of the 2010 season and saw a loan to the Greek team, AEK Athens FC with the option of being picked up for the 2011 season.
After a mediocre year in Greece, David Mateos came back to Madrid and was dealt the same cards in a loan to Real Zaragoza.
The central defender is good tactically and is liked by Mourinho. The skill level is too great for Real Madrid and Mateos may still have a chance one day, as defenders can be late bloomers and only get better with experience.
Mateos is still young and has a ton of potential. The most logical prediction is that Zaragoza will pick up his contract for the next season and Madrid can evaluate his growth on the pitch.
It would be a shame to see a youth team prodigy go to waste.
Pedro Leon seems to be great option on paper but has not seen the same success on the field. The 24-year-old Spaniard is loaned from Real Madrid to Getafe, the club he was originally bought from.
Coming up through the ranks of Murcia he also represented Levante, Valladolid and Getafe before settling in Madrid. His best play has come in Getafe and he looks to seek and find it again in his loan stint there.
His absence in the Madrid squad last season was justified by fighting in training with teammates. With his list of extensive clubs and attitude, its only a matter of time before the no-nonsense Mourinho ships him off. Last season he had interest from Chelsea and if Madrid was smart, they would have let him go.
Pedro Leon returning to the Real Madrid squad seems far off. His contract will most likely be sold in the summer transfer window.