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Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Haaland, Kroos, Camavinga, Benzema ahead of Cadiz vs Real Madrid

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to bounce back to winning ways in La Liga after their debacle against Villarreal last weekend, when they take on Cadiz at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla on Saturday night.

Los Blancos suffered a 2-3 defeat at home against Villarreal, which all but ended their hopes of retaining the La Liga title. They did return to winning ways with a dominant 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League and will look to carry that form in the league encounter.

With Barcelona failing to defeat Girona on Monday, they are 13 points clear of Real Madrid at this point. With ten matches still left to be played, there is still a mathematical possibility that the Merengues can beat their arch-rivals in the race.

Ahead of the game against mid-table club Cadiz, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti interacted with the media, discussing several topics including the possible team combination and the fitness of some of his players.

On the Cadiz clash: “It’s a difficult game. Cádiz are in a good dynamic, they’re an intense team. The game comes in between the quarter-final tie, but we’re looking forward to a good performance.”

On whether he would swap Vinicius Jr for Erling Haaland: “No. What a question. They are two fantastic players. I focus on taking advantage of Vinicius’ qualities just as Guardiola is doing the same with Haaland. To each his own.”

On the possibility of facing Manchester City in the UCL semi-finals: “Anything can happen. City and we have the advantage, but we still have 90 minutes to play.”

On his future and the faith shown by Real Madrid: “The whole club shows me a lot of affection, I feel very comfortable here. The club doesn’t have to add anything more to what they already give me.”

On Vinicius Jr and Toni Kroos’ fitness: “Vinicius finished the game with an adductor strain, he is not injured. Kroos too, it was too high a risk, considering the game on Tuesday. Tomorrow we will have a competitive team. I think they’ll both be fit for Chelsea.”

On motivation for the remainder of the league campaign: “We still have a competition to respect and we have to do our best. If we can’t be first, we want second place. This shirt demands this kind of attitude.”

On the ratings for the team this season: “We have to wait until the end to give a mark. We have been successful in some competitions and less so in others. The evaluation can be very successful or a season with doubts.”

On facing criticism: “I listen to criticism, it’s normal. We live in a world where you have to listen to what the fans, the press, the club, the players think… There are criticisms that can be understood, others can’t… Criticism can help and give you ideas to be better at your job.”

On Manchester City being tipped as UCL favourites: “It doesn’t bother me. English football competes very well, at a high level. It doesn’t surprise me that they are favourites. There is a bit of a difference, but in Europe, it is proving the opposite. Spanish football took two teams to the semifinals last year, this year Italy has three in QFs.”

“European football is more competitive than people say. Premier League teams compete against clubs with less money, but the competition is still the same.”

On Eduardo Camavinga’s position: “The important thing for him in this period is that he progresses, whether he is a pivot or a full-back. It helps him to improve his tactical knowledge, he will be a great pivot in the future, but he can learn defensive things at full-back.”

On whether Eden Hazard will get an opportunity: “I don’t know if from the start, but he might get a chance to play.”

On the partnership of Eder Militao and David Alaba: “The performance of the centre-backs has improved after the World Cup. Militao and Rüdiger have done well and Alaba is back to his best, and the centre-back pairing, whoever it is, has given us a lot of confidence.

“We’ve played a lot of games with a higher block than normal. That’s where the centre-backs have to work harder.”

On Karim Benzema’s Pichichi Trophy race: “We are not thinking about it. Karim is fine. The management of minutes is for when we see him tired, but he is one of the players who has recovered the best since Wednesday.”

On his proudest moment at Real Madrid: “Difficult question. So far it has been a successful return. I hope I can continue. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, although what I’m most proud of is coming here every day.”

On whether Florentino Perez wants him to stay: “I think he does. The president has always been very affectionate with me and he still is. We have to look forward. We will be here next season without a doubt because we are going to respect the contract.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors

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Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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