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Ancelotti talks Tchouameni, Benzema, VAR, Girona penalty controversy ahead of Celtic clash

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti has been all over the news in recent days for taking a direct dig at the referees and VAR after his team’s draw at the weekend. Amidst all the talk and speculation, the manager faced the press ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League clash tomorrow where he even addressed the elephant in the room.

Los Blancos have secured qualification to the next round but are yet to seal the first place to their name. A win on Wednesday would do the deal and that will be the only objective against Celtic. Here are the snippets from Ancelotti’s press conference.

On the importance of tomorrow’s clash: “Tomorrow’s game is very important because we want to top our group.”

On accusing the referees after the last game: “I didn’t accuse the referee the other day because I would never talk bad about the referees.”

On Aurelien Tchouameni: “Tchouameni will NOT play tomorrow.”

On Benzema’s recovery: “Benzema is training right now and we will see how he feels. Then we will decide if he’ll be in the squad for tomorrow.”

On the penalty called on Marco Asensio: “That against Girona wasn’t a penalty. I know the rule very well. I’m not stupid. At the beginning of the season they explained us that’s not a penalty.”

On tomorrow’s opponents: “Celtic will play their game with intensity and passion. It will be an open game. We want to give our best version tomorrow.”

On facing a ban for his comments: “The possible sanction for my words? I don’t know, I don’t lose sleep on this. But I said what the whole world thought. It wasn’t a penalty.”

On VAR: “I think VAR is a good thing but the referee should always be more important during the games. VAR has to help the referee, not be the protagonist.”

On whether Benzema was intentionally missing games: “Benzema missing games because of the World Cup? This is bad faith. You don’t have to think this. We have to remember he’s 34 and sometimes he misses some games.”

On the team’s poor run in the last two games: “We made mistakes against Leipzig and Girona. We talked about it and I hope the players will fix these aspects tomorrow.”

On Benzema’s availability: “We have to see how Benzema feels after the training today. If he makes the squad I’ll have to decide if he starts or not.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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