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Ancelotti talks Benzema, Kane, Fran Garcia, Ceballos ahead of Real Madrid vs Athletic Club

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that club captain Karim Benzema is ready to play his side’s last league game against Athletic Club while also citing that one must not forget that the Frenchman still has one more year left on his current deal.

Speaking ahead of Madrid’s final game of the 2022/23 season, the manager spoke on several aspects, including the team’s transfer plans, Benzema’s future and his own continuity.

When asked about Benzema, the manager said (h/t SPORT), “Benzema is ready to play tomorrow, he’s recovered.” He went on to add, “I agree with Benzema. Internet is not the reality. He has another year on his contract. I think it’s clear.”

At the same time, he subsequently admitted that Benzema is mostly on his way out. “The legends of this club have to retire at Real Madrid. This is what I believe and what the club believes. But the player maybe doesn’t think the same.”

In terms of the squad for the upcoming game, he mentioned, “We want to say goodbye to our fans. They’re all ready to play. Only Mariano won’t be there, the others are fine. We want to finish in the best possible way. Then we’ll rest and prepare for next season.”

Meanwhile, Benzema’s potential departure would mean Madrid will look to sign a new number 9. In this regard, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is said to be on the list and while addressing the same, the Italian said,

“Harry Kane? I’m sure you all are curious to see what will happen next season. But Kane is a Tottenham player and we have to respect this.”

He went on to add, “I think we’re going to have a different squad [next season]. There are players whose contracts are running out, but it will be a competitive squad and one that makes me very excited.”

Furthermore, the manager also confirmed that he will be at Real Madrid next season. “I’m happy at Real Madrid. No problems with the club. I’m very happy to continue and we will try to do better next season.”

Madrid’s main man also went on to admit that he cannot make everyone in the squad happy. 

“It is true that some have had little prominence, but I have tried to keep all the players motivated. It is impossible to keep them all happy. Sometimes you have to put up with that discontent from the players. I feel that there are some who have played very little.”

Speaking about the plan for the next season, he added, “Next year’s squad will be very competitive. Obviously there are contracts that expire and there will be different players. But it will be competitive.”

“Yes, it’s true — Fran García will be our first signing,” Ancelotti confirmed, but refused to talk about Brahim Diaz’s potential arrival.

“Brahim Díaz? I can’t say anything on him right now, I can’t comment…”.

He also revealed that the likes of Nacho and Dani Ceballos will decide their own fate. “They know what we think of them. I think they have everything very clear. They are waiting for the end of the season to decide what they want to do. Everything is in their hands.”

When asked about Brahim Diaz, he simply said, “I can’t talk about him right now.”

Lastly, when asked how much would he rate the 2022/23 season, he said, “It’s difficult to rate yourself. What I can say is that it’s been a very long season. We’ve worked hard and sometimes I haven’t always been able to transmit a very high level of motivation. 

“It’s not It’s easy to motivate every three days. I’ve given everything I could give. I put myself on a positive note, but next year I’m going to do better,” he concluded.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfield starlet attracting interest from half the teams in La Liga

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Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid youngster Mario Martin finds himself at an interesting juncture in his fledgeling career.

The midfield prospect is well-liked at the club after impressing with Castilla in the past two seasons while first-team manager Carlo Ancelotti is also an admirer of the player.

While Martin seems to have reached the end of his cycle in Castilla, a spot in the first-team squad is not necessarily available right away, unless Dani Ceballos ends up leaving.

Plenty of interest in Mario Martin

Now, The Athletic reports that Mario Martin is a player in demand in La Liga with half the teams in the Spanish top flight eager to sign him up this summer.

As has already been reported, Real Valladolid and RCD Espanyol are understood to have shown a strong interest in the 20-year-old midfield talent.

Mario Martin is in demand in La Liga. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

However, it appears that there are a plethora of other clubs in La Liga who would be happy to sign Martin from Real Madrid in the current transfer window.

Martin wants to stay

But, the report states Martin is leaning towards staying put at Real Madrid at this point even though the prospects of regular first-team minutes are highly unlikely.

The 20-year-old, who has made four senior appearances for Los Blancos thus far, has a contract that runs until the summer of 2026.

Real Madrid, for their part, are not necessarily ruling out a sale provided a good offer comes along.

Even if they do part ways with Martin, the Spanish capital club would very much likely insert an affordable buyback clause as they have been doing in recent times for departing youth players.

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