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Ancelotti talks Modric, Alaba, Asensio, Ceballos ahead of Real Madrid vs Osasuna

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be chasing their third trophy of the 2022/23 season when they take on CA Osasuna in the finals of the Copa del Rey at Estadio de La Cartuja on Saturday night.

Having already won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, Carlo Ancelotti & co. will be raring to add another trophy, especially given that they have failed in the defence of their La Liga crown.

Leading up to the game, manager Ancelotti addressed the media and provided an update on the fitness of Luka Modric among several other things.

Talking about the big game, he said: “Playing a final is very exciting. With each final, I think it may be the last. I always tell the players that you have to enjoy because they are special matches.

“We prepared with desire, we have managed to reach this final with merit after very complicated matches.”

After the CdR final, Real Madrid have another daunting challenge ahead of them as they face Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. But, Ancelotti insisted that the team is focused on what lies ahead and not looking beyond tomorrow’s game.

“Tomorrow we go out without thinking about what will happen next. The players are motivated and planning matches like this with this squad is simple.”

Providing a very positive update on the fitness of Luka Modric, Ancelotti said: “Yesterday he trained without problems and today, the idea is to do it again. If he’s comfortable, he’ll play. The sensations yesterday were very good and we’ll see now.”

As for another returning star David Alaba, the manager added: “It is something that we have evaluated because he has trained with a lot of load. We think he’s not going to risk it. We can’t know, but he has recovered.”

On whether his future is at stake in the upcoming games against Osasuna and City, he said: “A Cup final and a semifinal, nothing more. I’m not risking my life, that’s fine. First, the Cup final, a competition that doesn’t seem important at first, and then, it is.

“Later, the semifinals, which would be better to prepare it with a trophy in the bag. About my future, I repeat: contract until June 2024, not tomorrow.”

There have been a lot of question marks on the quality of refereeing in La Liga this season, owing to the number of red cards that have been shown. When asked for his take on it, the Real Madrid boss said:

“In my opinion, the red cards are too many, because not all of them are to prevent injuries, many are wrong. Tomorrow will be a correct, balanced match, where everyone will do their own thing.”

When poked about his future amid links to the Brazil national team, Ancelotti replied: “I don’t know what final number it is for me. Talking about my future today is not right. I have a great relationship with the president and José Ángel, that’s enough for me. I would like to win both titles.”

The Real Madrid defence has not been solid enough in recent games and talking about the improvements needed, Ancelotti said:

“When I do an analysis of a game, I usually share it with the players. Most of the time they may not agree, although we are in the analyses of the last games. Games like tomorrow’s are special.”

Leading up to the game, there had been speculations that Real Madrid will not celebrate with their fans if they do indeed win the Copa del Rey as they will be focusing on the next game against Man City. However, Ancelotti insisted otherwise, saying:

“Why won’t we celebrate? When you win you have to celebrate, although there are ways. We would like to celebrate with all the fans. Napoli is celebrating because they have won the league after 33 years. I hope we can do the same if we win. We will celebrate.”

On whether he thinks he can field the same lineup against Osasuna and Manchester City in three days, Ancelotti replied: “It can be. On Sunday or Monday we will evaluate the physical requirement of tomorrow’s game.”

Talking about preparations for the cup final, he added: “Planning a final is always complicated. We have arrived here thanks to the commitment of many, A key moment was the comeback against Villarreal, where Asensio and Ceballos, who did not play much, gave a key boost.”

Earlier in the day, Osasuna boss Jagoba Arrasate praised Ancelotti, calling him a ‘specialist in winning finals’. Talking about his counterpart, the Real Madrid boss said:

“I told Jagoba that we would meet in the final because I knew it. Tomorrow will be a competitive match against an organized rival. It will be a complicated game, we must be prepared to face the difficult moments of the game.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid out-of-favour defender now unlikely to leave the club

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid missed out on the signing of Leny Yoro after deciding not to match Manchester United’s offer for the 18-year-old defender.

With the French prodigy now on his way to the Premier League, Los Blancos are assessing their options before deciding whether to sign a new centre-back or not.

As things stand, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe seem to be leaning towards relying on their existing options rather than going into the market.

Jesus Vallejo unlikely to leave

As such, MARCA reports that the likelihood of Jesus Vallejo leaving the club have now significantly reduced.

Indeed, the 27-year-old out-of-favour defender now appears more and more likely to continue at Real Madrid beyond this summer.

Set to stay. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Vallejo returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after finishing his loan stint at Granada during which he hardly played due to injury and fitness woes.

As such, reports suggested that Carlo Ancelotti & co. were not planning on counting on him next season, even though he was handed a new shirt number recently.

But with the Leny Yoro operation collapsing and Real Madrid not keen on recruiting anyone from the market at this point, the Spanish ace is now unlikely to leave the club.

With David Alaba still sidelined, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao will start the new season as the first-choice centre-back pairing and Vallejo will serve as the backup while Aurelien Tchouameni will also be an option.

Vallejo, for his part, wanted to stay put and see out his contract which expires in 2025. And, as things stand, it appears that the player will get his wish.

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