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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Guardiola, Haaland, Rodrygo, Veiga ahead of Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo



Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to continue their winning momentum when they take on Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday night.

The Merengues have picked up three consecutive 2-0 victories in all competitions since their 3-2 defeat to Villarreal.

And with Barcelona failing to win their last two league games, there is still an outside chance that Real Madrid can close the gap to the top, especially with the league leaders facing the most in-form Spanish team in Atletico Madrid this weekend.

With Celta Vigo failing to win their last three games, Los Blancos have a good opportunity to pick up another win and reduce Barça’s lead to eight points, even if temporarily.

Ahead of the game, manager Carlo Ancelotti appeared in front of the media and provided an update on the team’s condition as well as the physical state of Karim Benzema, among other things.

On facing Celta Vigo: “We have a lot of respect for Celta. They have a well-defined organization, and individualities. It is a team that we have to respect and do our best to win.”

On whether Man City are the favourites in UCL semis: “It’s not a topic that is in my head about who is the favourite. We know that we are close to a final and it is a very even crossing, let’s see what happens.”

On whether Pep Guardiola’s team has changed: “I think so, they have changed a little, but they still have a very strong team with a striker who scores a lot of goals. We have to change the approach.”

On Guardiola praising him and Real Madrid: “I’m flattered, when you’re respected it’s a good thing and that Guardiola says it better.”

On the motivations in La Liga: “We have to do our job and fight until the last game. I think we’re in a good dynamic, so the objective is to fight until the end and maintain a good dynamic. The matches in La Liga are for this: to maintain this good dynamic, the team is doing very well.”

On the tight calendar: “The calendar is too tight and objectively it doesn’t make sense. We have to evaluate the health of the players, who are the most important part of football. Here La Liga is thinking about its own, FIFA has no influence and the players have no influence. This has to change.”

On Karim Benzema’s fitness: “He’s fine, he’s recovered well. I took him off in the last game because I thought he was exhausted. When you’re like that in the game I think Karim, Kroos or Modric can rest.”

On his talk with Benzema during the Chelsea game: “The important thing is to explain it. I told him, if I can take minutes off him, I’m going to do it so that he can have a rest, especially if he has a small problem. I spoke to him and he understood perfectly.”

On player recovery with short time between matches: “I don’t think we have any problems recovering properly. We don’t complain that you can play on Tuesday or Wednesday because in three days you can recover well.

“I have also heard: too many days off. That Madrid have had too many days off. I’ve looked at the calendar and from 30 December until now we’ve only had eight days off.”

On battling with Atletico Madrid for second place in La Liga: “It’s going to fight to be second until the last game. They are doing very well, it’s an important streak and they are playing very good football.”

On Real Madrid-linked Gabri Veiga: “I like him, he is an excellent player who has something special, like Iago Aspas.”

On Rodrygo’s performances in the UCL: “He is playing at a high level in both competitions. He’s making more of a difference in the Champions League with goals, but in La Liga he’s getting more involved in the game.”

On Manchester City’s different styles: “They can play in different ways, like us. It’s not that they have changed their style completely. The way of attacking changes because of Haaland, but nothing else.”

On the defensive improvements made by the team recently: “I think we are more solid. It depends a lot on the moment, I think the players are more focused on defensive work. It was the key last season and it could be the key this season.”

On whether he is planning for the next season: “No, next season is already planned. We talked about it before, it’s not an issue of the moment.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Harry Kane ‘very close’ to completing Real Madrid move, only final details remain – report



Jude Bellingham’s move to Real Madrid was finally closed earlier today as officially confirmed by Borussia Dortmund on their website. Yet, the offices at Santiago Bernabeu have not even taken a break to celebrate their success.

According to reports from Alfredo Pedullà, Los Blancos are now completely focused on the acquisition of Harry Kane. The English striker’s arrival is very close to approaching closure and only a few details remain to be sorted.

The Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur representatives reportedly held a meeting today over the striker’s transfer. The agenda was to agree on a number for the transfer fee.

The Premier League side began the proceedings with an expectation of €100 to €110 million in exchange for Kane. However, the Merengues suggested a lower point at €80 to €90 million, albeit with the option to include bonuses.

There is not much separating the two parties at the moment, and the minor gap will be bridged in the coming days. Overall, the meeting ended with a broad understanding between the two clubs.

Carlo Ancelotti sees the English striker as the centre-piece of his attack for next season given the recent departure of Karim Benzema. After all, Kane has been one of football’s most consistent goalscorers over the past decade.

Yet, Los Blancos cannot afford to let their guard down with one signing and will need to rope in at least two more names in attack to serve as backup options. The exits of Mariano Diaz, Marco Asensio, and Eden Hazard leave them with no squad depth, after all.

Kane has scored 30, 17, and 23 goals in his last three seasons in the Premier League and is the epitome of consistency. Further, he had three assists in his most recent league season and created 14 big chances.

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