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24-year-old ace leading race to become first choice for Real Madrid in key position

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

As Real Madrid get set to resume their campaign after the mid-season break, all eyes will be on Carlo Ancelotti’s decision regarding his first-choice goalkeeper.

Even though Kepa Arrizabalaga was the preferred option earlier in the campaign following Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury, Andriy Lunin has worked his way back into things after some fine performances in goal when the Spaniard was sidelined.

Just before the break, Ancelotti was rotating Lunin and Kepa in goal, but as per reports, the Real Madrid boss is planning to choose a No. 1 between the two before the season resumes.

A decision is imminent and Ancelotti plans on sticking with one of Lunin or Kepa as the first-choice in goal moving forward.

Lunin the frontrunner

And now MARCA is reporting that it is Lunin who is leading the race to become Real Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper for the rest of the season ahead of Kepa.

As per the report, Lunin will be the starting goalkeeper against Mallorca in what will be Real Madrid’s return to competition after the Christmas break.

A slight physical indisposition suffered by Kepa in the last days of 2023 has facilitated Ancelotti’s decision regarding the starting goalkeeping duties.

Kepa set to become deputy to Lunin. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

The Italian coach wanted to put an end to the debate surrounding the starting goalkeeping position and the truth is that Lunin is currently the frontrunner to be chosen.

For the moment, the decision has come about due to the temporary indisposition of the Chelsea loanee, but the feelings and assessments made by the coaching staff suggest that the Ukrainian has taken the lead.

Lunin’s response to his return to the starting line-up after Kepa’s injury has been more than positive.

There are no complaints about the Ukrainian’s performance, nor about Kepa’s attitude, work and performance, but the analysis made internally leans towards Lunin and the control he is showing of the situation.

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Real Madrid News

Shocking Modric, Vinicius, Cristiano fact makes Real Madrid fans ‘feel old’

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Luka Modric is set to stay with Real Madrid for another season, meaning he will have played more seasons with Vinicius Jr. (7) than he did with Cristiano Ronaldo (6). 

Feeling old yet? We thought so too!

Modric joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2012 after four seasons with Tottenham Hotspur. On the other hand, Vinicius Jr. joined Real Madrid in 2018. 

By the end of the 2023/24 season, Modric and Vinicius will have spent six seasons together. This is the same number of seasons Modric played with Cristiano Ronaldo, who was at Madrid from 2009 to 2018. 

However, with Modric set to stay for another season, he will surpass that, playing more seasons with Vinicius than with Ronaldo, the club’s all-time top scorer.

A new contract for Modric

It is important to note that Real Madrid and Modric have reached an agreement in principle for his contract renewal for another year.

Luka Modric will stay at Real Madrid for another season. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

At 38, Modric’s contract was set to expire at the end of the current season. For a while, it seemed the Croatian star might leave Santiago Bernabeu this summer. 

However, things have changed recently, and Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new contract. 

Interestingly, Real Madrid have also offered a renewal to Toni Kroos with club president Florentino Perez personally involved in the negotiations.

Modric and Kroos will continue

Reports suggest that Modric has agreed to the new proposal, with an agreement in principle now in place. It is also expected that Kroos will accept his offer, meaning Real Madrid will keep both veteran players for another season.

The Croatian was reportedly willing to accept a pay cut and a reduced role in the team to continue playing for Real Madrid. This flexibility may have sped up the agreement process.

His willingness to adapt to a reduced role and accept a pay cut has likely influenced the club’s decision to renew his contract for one more year. 

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