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Ancelotti talks Vinicius, Rodrygo, Benzema, Kroos, Alaba ahead of Real Madrid vs Villarreal

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

After sealing a spot in the finals of the Copa del Rey with an emphatic 4-0 win over Barcelona, Real Madrid will turn their focus back to La Liga as they gear up to take on Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu tomorrow.

With Barcelona not scheduled to play until Monday night, Real Madrid have a chance to reduce the gap to the top to nine points and put some pressure on their arch-rivals. However, with Villarreal pushing for a top-four finish, they will make life hard for the current champions.

Ahead of the game, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti appeared in front of the media and discussed several topics including the current mood in the team and Rodrygo’s fitness situation, among others.

On the team’s condition after El Clasico: “We are fine. A bit tired, but no problem. We’ll try to put out the best team to keep fighting in the league until the end.”

On his mood: “I am very well. Calm and excited. With a lot of motivation because the team is doing very well. On a personal level, I don’t have any problems. In games like Wednesday’s, there’s a lot of pressure and when they’re over you just want to rest.”

On whether he would swap places with Xavi at Barcelona: “It’s impossible for me to coach Barcelona. I wouldn’t change for Xavi. I’m lucky enough to coach Madrid, the best club in the world. I have a lot of respect for Barça and Xavi, but I’m in a place where people love me a lot.

“The season is very much alive, we are going to play the fourth final of the season and we are satisfied. We want to finish the season well. We have a disadvantage in La Liga because Barcelona are doing very well. We think we have a chance in the league. Until the maths tells us we’re out, we’re going to fight.”

On the Gavi-Vinicius incident in Clasico: “It was a match with a strong rivalry. That’s the way all derbies are. Vinicius is marking an era in football and all Madrid fans hope he continues like this. He is doing very important things.”

On having managed the 1272nd match of his career against Barcelona: “I looked at it the other day because I thought it was close to 1,300 and because I have to celebrate.”

“It was an important game. The win against Barça allows us to play in a Copa del Rey final. I don’t know where I put it in my coaching career. Maybe I do put it in my top ten in terms of the level of football, but I have very good memories of other games.”

On any difference in the team from last year: “There is not much difference compared to last year. We are more confident. The players are united, enthusiastic, and excited. Also those who aren’t playing. This is good for us.”

On whether he feels he has a point to prove: “I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Everyone knows me and can evaluate me, but after 1,272 games I don’t have to prove anything.”

On the renewals of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric: “There is progress because they are talking and in the end they are going to look for a solution.”

On David Alaba’s season: “It has been a season where he has had some problems. Above all physical. They have affected him a bit. He hasn’t had the continuity he had last year but he’s back and he’s doing very well today. In these two games, we have kept a clean sheet also because of him.”

On Karim Benzema, Modric and Kroos: “I see the three of them as always. They can have their best and worst moments during a season but that’s quite normal.

“We have to evaluate players not by age but by what they actually do and you can think that the three of them don’t have the energy of the youngsters but the way they handle games and the experience they have you can’t buy in any market in the world.”

“I think they will continue but we will have to think about when they stop because it will happen.”

On the confidence in the youngsters: “We have fantastic young players who are going to mark a different era to Kroos, Modric and Casemiro. Tchouameni, Camavinga, Ceballos…. They are all very good and they are going to be important.”

On Rodrygo’s condition: “He arrived a little late for training because he had a personal problem. He’s fine, he has no problem. I think he’s going to play.”

On Vinicius Jr’s improvement: “The individual work he’s done has been to shoot in front of goal and he’s been more confident and more patient in front of goal and he’s handled it very well.

“The ceiling is the consistency that he has to have. The physicality he has will help him a lot because he never gets tired. His ceiling is to have continuity.”

Source: Real Madrid Twitter

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid plan to hold talks with Chelsea over €60 million-rated German international

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Kai Havertz has emerged as the latest target for Real Madrid as they look to beef up the attacking unit ahead of the new season.

The club are bracing themselves for the loss of Marco Asensio, who is reportedly closing in on a move to Paris Saint-Germain. Even Dani Ceballos is facing an uncertain future at Santiago Bernabeu, though the club are making a last-gasp effort to keep hold of the midfielder.

In order to mitigate the losses, Real Madrid are planning to bring in a new attacker, with Havertz emerging as a potential candidate.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid’s plan is to hold talks with Chelsea in the next few weeks, over the possibility of Havertz’s move to the Bernabeu.

The Premier League giants seek good money for the German international, but do not consider him ‘untouchable’. The player, after all, has endured a difficult season, where his productivity has been questioned.

The former Bayer Leverkusen starlet has netted seven goals in the Premier League this past season, but the number could have easily breached the 15 mark if the forward had successfully converted most of his chances.

Chelsea, therefore, are ready to offload the German ahead of the new season. The Blues had signed the young playmaker in the summer of 2020, for an astounding €80 million. But the move has not paid off at all, with the player scoring just 32 goals in 139 appearances.

Chelsea are now keen on recouping some of that investment by asking big money for Havertz this summer. Real Madrid, for their part, are not exactly clear how much they should spend on the German, but they appear ready to take the gamble on the player.

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