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Ancelotti acknowledged Real Madrid stood no chance without Benzema after 4-0 loss to Barcelona



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti will be under pressure to deliver as Real Madrid take on Barcelona on Sunday, in a game where prestige would be at stake for the visiting side.

The defending Spanish champions have fallen to their arch-rivals twice this calendar year and cannot afford to lose again.

Heading into this game, Eintracht Frankfurt manager Oliver Glasner has revealed his conversation with Carlo Ancelotti. The Austrian tactician, whose team recently lost to Napoli in the UEFA Champions League, had apparently asked his Italian counterpart about Real Madrid’s 4-0 defeat to Barça last season.

Responding to the question, Ancelotti had fumed at the unavailability of Karim Benzema. “I asked Ancelotti about their 4-0 loss to Barça. He said ‘Karim was out, we had no chance’,” Glasner revealed (h/t Madrid Universal).

Ancelotti was referring to an injury that had ruled Benzema out of the tie against Barcelona about a year ago. It forced the Italian tactician to rely on the services of Brazilian attacking duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, who failed miserably.

However, a lot has changed since, including Benzema. The Frenchman has not had the fittest season as a player. But he will be able to spearhead the Real Madrid attack when the visit Camp Nou this weekend.

Moreover, the likes of Rodrygo and Vinicius have gained more experience in leading the frontline and could play a bigger role. The duo was quite useful in the reverse fixture during the first half of the campaign, with Rodrygo notably scoring the third goal of a 3-1 victory for Los Blancos.

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Real Madrid News

Atletico Madrid ‘approach’ Real Madrid, Arsenal midfield target over summer move



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

According to AS, Atletico Madrid have made the first approach for Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga, who has also been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid and Arsenal.

The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in Spanish football this season, having already netted nine goals in La Liga.

It has alerted a series of top-level clubs, with the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid all being linked with the youngster, who has a €40 million release clause in his contract with Celta.

Real Madrid are in the market for midfield reinforcements and have identified Jude Bellingham as their top target, but Veiga is also said to be on the agenda at the Santiago Bernabeu

However, recently, the Galician club’s president confirmed that there had been contact from clubs in England, but stated that Real Madrid had made no approach.

On top of that, a report from MARCA quoted a club source saying that they were not contemplating signing the 20-year-old.

Amidst this, it has now emerged that Atletico Madrid have made an approach towards signing Veiga from Celta Vigo in the summer transfer window.

The Rojiblancos are also in the market for new midfielders amid question marks over the futures of Saul Niguez and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

While Diego Simeone’s side have taken a first step, the report indicates that Veiga, in case of the absence of interest from Real Madrid, would prefer to join Arsenal.

So, the Colchoneros will need to put in efforts to convince the 20-year-old to choose them over a move to the Premier League club come summer if they are serious about adding the talented youngster to their roster for next season.

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