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Ancelotti to give exit-bound Real Madrid star farewell minutes vs Real Betis



Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Kepa Arrizabalaga may have faced a struggle for minutes in the second half of the 2023-24 season, but one cannot undermine his importance in the team.

Arriving at a tense moment after Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury, the shot-stopper performed at a very high level between the sticks and was even the manager’s first choice for a long time.

Andriy Lunin’s unexpected ascendency, however, forced him to transfer the throne to the Ukrainian star, and in the process, closed the curtains on his future at the club.

Chance to say goodbye

According to reports from AS, Carlo Ancelotti plans to give Kepa a few minutes in the team’s match against Real Betis this weekend as a chance to say goodbye to the fans.

The game at Santiago Bernabeu will be an emotional affair, especially given that it will go down as Toni Kroos’ final game at the venue.

Kepa’s departure may thus go under the radar, but he will have a chance to say his farewell.

Kepa to get a chance to say goodbye at Bernabeu. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has started 13 games for Los Blancos in La Liga this season, keeping a stunning seven clean sheets in the process. Further, he averages 2.2 saves per game and a 76% save percentage.

Courtois will start

Real Madrid and Carlo Ancelotti dream of Courtois starting the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

After all, one remembers how the Belgian star single-handedly kept Liverpool at bay in the team’s last UCL final.

After resting against Villarreal, the veteran is thus expected to start against Real Betis so as to stay in rhythm and prepare for the biggest game of the season.

All signs, however, point to a substitution in the second half which will enable Kepa to say goodbye to the club he has served faithfully for a year.

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Real Madrid News

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



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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