Real Madrid will be aiming to extend their 100% run in the new season when they lock horns with local rivals Atletico Madrid at the Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night.
Currently seated at the top of the La Liga standings, the Merengues could lose their spot to Barcelona, who face Elche later today. And the reigning champions will need a win against their neighbours in order to go into the international break as the league leaders.
On the eve of the game, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti attended his customary pre-match press conference during which he discussed various topics ranging from Karim Benzema’s injury to the controversy surrounding Vinicius Jr’s celebrations.
“Benzema won’t be there tomorrow but he has started working alone,” Ancelotti confirmed. However, he did not give away who would start in place of the Frenchman, as he said: “I have an idea but I won’t say it.”
On Real Madrid’s form and momentum heading into the derby, Ancelotti said: “We arrived well, on a good run, against a strong rival, it is a special match and that is how we prepare for it.”
On the racist abuse against Vinicius Jr, he added: “He’s fine as usual, he wants to play and win this match. He and the club have issued a statement so now let’s talk about football, and it should be noted that in Spain I don’t see racism.”
On the derby: “It will be a competitive match. They don’t expect anything new and it will be a very competitive duel, a good football match because there are very good players on both teams. The match is open, but there is nothing definitive. rivalry is normal.”
On Antoine Griezmann’s peculiar situation at Atletico: “It sounds a bit strange but I don’t like getting into these discussions, every coach has to make decisions, Simeone and Atletico have been and are doing well in Spain and Europe.”
On Eder Militao’s availability: “He is ready to play and trained well. He can play from the start or play a few minutes of the game, I have to think about it.”
On Diego Simeone: “He has a great relationship with his players, he is able to build that bond and that’s an important part of being a coach.”
On Vinicius and the support he has received: “It’s something we don’t touch on in the locker room, these are topics that are not normally discussed in the locker room, we usually talk about football.”
“Racism is one thing, what happens on the field is another, there is a lot of talk about provocations, but racism is a much more important issue than what happens on the field. But we will not address the issue of racism, as Vinicius spoke well in his statement.”
On if he has any advice to Vinicius: “No, I’m not his father, I’m not his brother. I’m his manager.”
On the atmosphere at the Metropolitano: “I’m not worried, we’re going to play a football match, in the rival’s field and the pressure from the stands supporting their team is normal. Period. There’s nothing to say. We played against a rival strong and nothing else.”
On Rodrygo: “He has had more minutes and he is making the most of it. You have to be patient, keep improving, he’s taking advantage of his opportunity and learning from the players who have more experience. That helps him have more confidence.”
On Asensio’s call-up to Spain national team: “This is football, he is very happy to have been called up to the national team, he has the ability to go to the national team.”
On why Real Madrid perform better in the second half: “We use the strategy of the tiredness (laughs). The rivals think we are tired and we take advantage of it.”
Source: Real Madrid Twitter
Real Madrid, Barcelona interested in €30 million-rated Serie A midfielder – report
Replacing Luka Modric is a task Real Madrid’s administration better not attempt. After all, finding a like-for-like replacement for a world-class player who defined an era is close to impossible.
The Croat himself, however, has always held high regard for his compatriot Marcelo Brozovic. The Inter Milan player possesses a profile that highly interests Los Blancos and Carlo Ancelotti.
Brozovic has been on the transfer lists of several European clubs in the current transfer window. Of them, Barcelona have been mentioned as a strong candidate.
Though Nerazzurri were initially reluctant to let the midfielder go, Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport report that Inter Milan are now prepared to take that step at the end of the season.
The Italian management understands that the manager has modes to cope without Brozovic and that the time is right to move on with economic compensation.
One of the biggest names in the race to sign him, according to the source, is Real Madrid. Given that he has a contract until 2026 in Italy, the European Champions will have to shell out at least €30 million for his services, a figure that Inter feel he should be valued at.
The Merengues are not alone in the race for Brozovic. Barcelona are back in the equation as they see him as an ideal replacement for their captain Sergio Busquets.
The third European giants interested in the 30-year-old Croatian international are Chelsea. Juventus also wanted to try their luck too but were forced to back out after their recent sanctions.
It remains to be seen if Real Madrid can afford the €30 million tag in the summer given their interest in Jude Bellingham. Close to €150 million of their budget will be frozen on the Englishman, and spending more on another midfielder may not be warranted.