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Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio, Nacho, Joselu ahead of Sevilla vs Real Madrid



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

After reclaiming the second spot in the La Liga table courtesy of a 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano earlier this week, Real Madrid will be aiming to consolidate their position with another victory when they take on Sevilla on Saturday.

There could be tension in the air at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, with Sevilla fans planning a protest in light of Vinicius Jr’s red card in the Valencia game being overturned.

However, speaking ahead of the game, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that the 22-year-old Brazilian, who has been repeatedly targeted with racist abuse in away matches in La Liga, will not be playing tomorrow due to a knock.

Along with Vinicius, Ancelotti also confirmed that captain Karim Benzema will also miss out after he picked up a cut on his foot in the Vallecano clash while Marco Asensio is also ruled out.

“We want to do things well. We have Karim, Vinicius and Asensio missing but we will try to do our best. Hopefully, we can win tomorrow, the win against Rayo is good for us,” Ancelotti said.

Providing an update on Vinicius, he added: He doesn’t travel because he can’t play. If he could, he would play. His knee is still bothering him. Hopefully he can play the last game.”

Amid news that La Liga will not be using the goalline technology next season as president Javier Tebas does not want to shell out the €3 million fee, Ancelotti was asked about the use of technology in the game.

“Since the arrival of VAR a lot of things have improved. The goal technology is good, I think the increase in technology is good, but its use needs to be improved,” the Real Madrid boss exclaimed.

“It would be good to put it in to avoid problems like this. I don’t know why it is not used. If it is a problem of money it can be solved soon,” he added about the goal-line technology, following the controversy during the 3-3 draw between Espanyol and Atletico Madrid.

Talking about Rodrygo and his evolution, Ancelotti said: “I think Rodrygo just needs more continuity in doing well whenever he plays. He will play a more important role in the squad.”

Given that Real Madrid will be without three of their forwards for the game, Ancelotti was quizzed about the attacking lineup for tomorrow and he replied:

“We are going to field a team to try to win. We don’t have the usual forwards. The line-up will be competitive because we still have good players.”

Talking about improving the squad in the summer, Ancelotti reassured the fans that signings will be made, saying: “What we want to do, we will do. We want to improve the squad, don’t worry.”

Looking back at the La Liga season, Ancelotti said: “In La Liga, we didn’t compete until the end, until the Barcelona game where we fell further behind. Barcelona had a very good season, they made few mistakes and conceded few goals. They have had continuity and we struggled a bit to play at our level after the World Cup.”

When asked if it was the attack that let the team down this season, the manager responded:

“It wasn’t a problem up front, we lacked a bit of solidity at the back. There is talk of signing strikers but if you look at the statistics we should sign a defender. Sometimes statistics can be a bit misleading.”

On whether the last few games of the season will help the team for the next term, he added: “We don’t think they will be of any use for next season. We have to respect the jersey and fight to the end. We have to show professionalism and we have to be serious. Being professional is a great motivation.”

While the contract renewals of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modric are understood to be sewn up, the same cannot be said of fellow veteran Nacho. Uncertainty continues to linger around his continuity at the club.

When asked about the defender’s situation, Ancelotti insisted that Nacho’s future was in his own hands, saying:

“His future is in his own hands. He has everyone’s affection. He can contribute a lot to the squad. I think the club has spoken to him about renewing his contract and he is thinking about it. It’s in his hand. There is one week to go and everything will be cleared up.”

On the role Eden Hazard might have to play against Sevilla given the absence of several forwards, Ancelotti said: “What Hazard needs to do I will discuss with him, not here.”

On whether he has been disappointed with his team for how the season panned out, the manager replied:

“It has not been a good La Liga and I feel bad, but the season has been good. And if I evaluate the two seasons it has been spectacular. And if I evaluate the four years, I would do it again. I have won 10 titles in four years. I’ll take it and I think the club does too.”

Talking about the problems that Real Madrid have had at left-back, Ancelotti asked for trust in Ferland Mendy while adding that Fran Garcia’s summer arrival will improve things as well.

“We have had a problem with Mendy’s injury. Trust in his return. Fran García, who has done well, is coming in. We have a good defence.”

Ancelotti also touched upon the reduced role of Aurelien Tchouameni, saying that the midfielder is still adapting to Real Madrid, saying:

“The truth is that he surprised everyone in the first part of the season. He is very young and arrived at Madrid, he has to adapt and he came to replace a legend like Casemiro. After the World Cup, his level dropped.

“For me, he is not the third option in the pivot. He’s a player who has to get used to adapting a bit more. His first part of the season was spectacular, then he dropped but that’s normal for a young player when he arrives at Real Madrid.”

Real Madrid have recently been linked with a move for former striker Joselu. When asked about the potential interest in the veteran star, Ancelotti deflected the question, saying:

“We will work to improve the squad but to talk about names now doesn’t seem right to me because some of them still have very important challenges. I like Joselu, like Aspas, Morata. I like a lot of strikers. Normally I like strikers who score goals.”

Finally, when asked about Hazard’s future, the manager replied: “Hazard has a contract and it is assumed he will stay here. If he is not happy he will ask to leave and if he is happy he will stay.”

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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