Real Madrid will look to maintain their 100 percent record in the 2022/23 La Liga intact when they lock horns with RCD Espanyol on Sunday night at the RCDE Stadium.
Los Blancos have won their first two league games against UD Almeria and Celta Vigo in La Liga and have registered three victories in three, in all competitions if we count the UEFA Super Cup triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt.
And the reigning champions of Spain and Europe will be hoping to carry forward the same form and extend the run when they travel to Catalonia to face Espanyol.
On the eve of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti addressed the media in his pre-match press conference, where he discussed the futures of exit-linked players like Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz while providing a fitness update on the squad.
“I don’t know anything new about Asensio, if there are good options for him and for the club, it can be evaluated,” Ancelotti said on the matter of Asensio, who is linked with Arsenal and Manchester United.
“If Marco leaves we are not going to sign anyone because we don’t need it,” he further added.
On the subject of Mariano Diaz, the Italian tactician said: “We count on Mariano, but he has the best striker in the world ahead of him.”
Dani Ceballos had also been linked with a summer departure, but Ancelotti confirmed that the midfielder will stay at the club, saying:
Dani Ceballos had also been linked with a summer departure, but Ancelotti confirmed that the midfielder will stay at the club, saying: “Ceballos is going to stay and we are happy about it, he is going to have more minutes because he deserves it.”
Along with Ceballos, Ancelotti also promised a bigger role for Rodrygo Goes, stating that the Brazilian will start more games than he did last season. “This year Rodrygo is going to have a more important role, he will play more games as a starter,” he said.
“We can replace him with Vinicius, we can try him with Karim as a striker or we can put him in Karim’s place,” Ancelotti added.
Providing a fitness update on the squad, Ancelotti confirmed that Toni Kroos has recovered from his flu and will be in contention, but ruled out three players from the game. “Kroos recovered well. Nacho and Odriozola are absent as is Vallejo, who had problems,” he confirmed.
Today marks the tenth year anniversary of Luka Modric’s transfer to Real Madrid and Ancelotti hailed the legendary midfielder, saying: “Modric has been a good signing for Madrid. His career has been very continuous and he has always played very well, with a very high level.
“He can still play for a long time because I see him fresh and highly motivated. I think he will continue for more seasons.”
The manager also spoke about the departure of midfield general Casemiro, who has joined Manchester United, as he said: “It is not just a technical problem, it is also the good relationship we had. When Casemiro left we felt sorry and sad. Today he is going to start his new stage and we wish him the best.”
Explaining his thought process to use Federico Valverde out on the wings regularly, Ancelotti said: “Valverde has shown that he can play on the wing, I don’t know if he has the quality to play there, but he has taken to the position very well and gives us a lot of energy there. He allows us to have more intense games.”
Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as new Real Madrid player before Euro 2024 – report
According to a report from El Chiringuito TV, Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe wants to be presented as the new Real Madrid player before the beginning of UEFA Euro 2024.
It is to be noted that Euro commences on June 14, a mere 13 days after this season’s UEFA Champions League final.
Now, PSG will have their commitment in Ligue 1 until May 18, and depending on their performance in the Champions League, they will officially end their 2023/24 campaign.
At best, if it ends in May itself, Mbappe can see his dream turning into reality but if the French team somehow reaches the UCL final, the French superstar will have to report for international duty soon after
Mbappe is extremely close to becoming the Real Madrid player after it emerged that the forward and the team are closing in on an agreement over image rights.
As such, there would not be any fee involved in the transfer since Mbappe will move as a free agent, but as reported before, the team from the Spanish capital will pay him an extravagant signing-on bonus expected to be around €120-150 million.
How can Real Madrid pull this off?
As of today, both Real Madrid and Mbappe are working on the final details of the contract. While it is assumed that he would earn a fixed salary of €14 million each season in addition to €30 million in bonuses, there remains a disparity regarding his image rights.
At PSG, Mbappe holds 100% of his image rights but Madrid have a policy that has only been mended once when a certain Cristiano Ronaldo joined from Manchester United in 2009.
Ever since the Galacticos era, Madrid have reserved 50% of the player’s image rights, but in the case of Mbappe, the team from the Spanish capital is okay with having just 20% of it as even that would churn in big money.
Once these details are sorted, Real Madrid can make the official announcement of the deal in collaboration with PSG. Once this is done, everyone will wait for PSG to end their campaign and depending on that, Mbappe will arrange his travel to Madrid.