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Atletico Madrid, Arsenal keeping tabs on 19-year-old defensive midfielder

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Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

It is no secret that Atletico Madrid are looking for a young defensive midfielder to strengthen their forces for the upcoming season. Boubacar Kamara is the name that has fans excited, but the club continue to explore other options that could be more economical.

According to reports from Hugo of L’Equipe, Atletico are now in race for Johann Lepenant, a deep midfielder who plays for SM Caen. However, Arsenal are said to be keeping tabs on the player, too.

Despite two European giants keeping an eye on the player, a third club is said to be leading the race — Olympique Lyonnais. They are best placed to complete Lepenant’s transfer come June.

The 19-year-old midfielder is a regular for Stephane Moulin’s side in the second division of the French League. He has started 33 games this season and has one assist to show in that duration.

The teenager has played in the heart of Caen’s 3-5-2 formation this season, effectively anchoring the whole team. More importantly, he has been tasked with intercepting any opposition counterattacks and has executed his duties flawlessly.

Lepenant averages 1.5 interceptions, three tackles, 0.5 clearances and six duels won per ninety minutes. There is little to no doubt that he would fit into Diego Simeone’s system seamlessly.

The player is on the final year of his contract with Caen and does not intend to renew. With the risk of losing him on a free transfer looming, the Ligue 2 side will be pushed to sell him for a lower price in the upcoming transfer window.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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