Real Madrid are expected to be one of the more active teams during the summer transfer window of 2024, with several positions to be reinforced, and maybe even a change of coaching staff, with Carlo Ancelotti linked to the Brazilian NT job.
Madrid will be looking to get in at least one forward, with fans hoping it comes in the form of Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland. The midfield will be bolstered as well, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos not likely to continue beyond the current season.
Meanwhile, Florentino Perez will be looking to bring in a fair few players for the backline, as well. This could be Nacho’s last season at the Santiago Bernabeu, while both Lucas Vazquez and Daniel Carvajal are over 30.
The left-back, though, is arguably the biggest area of concern. Ferland Mendy and Fran Garcia are, on paper, the two players covering that role, but Ancelotti has also relied on Nacho, Carvajal, David Alaba, and Eduardo Camavinga in the past for cover.
While it is Garcia’s first season at the club, back after a successful spell at Rayo Vallecano, Mendy has been at the club for a while, and barely lived up to level that was anticipated from him. Not to forget, his terrible injury record continually puts the team in jeopardy.
As such, Madrid have been in the market looking for a left-back, and have Bayern Munich superstar Alphonso Davies on their radar. The Canadian’s contract with the Bavarians runs until 2025, and is set to be keen on a move to the Spanish capital.
However, as far as Thomas Tuchel is concerned, Davies still calls Allianz Arena home.
“He is our player. And an absolutely key player. He knows how much we value him,” he said when asked about Bayern potentially offering an extension to Davies, as relayed by Mundo Deportivo.
“For me, the duration of the player’s contract does not change anything. He is playing regularly and doing it at the highest level.”
Now 23, Davies has been at Bayern for four years already, and have won everything there is to win with the club, including the sextuple in his second season with the club under Hansi Flick.
Tuchel seems confident that Bayern will do their best to extend Davies’ stay at the club beyond 2025, “I trust the sports management. He is still a very young player, which we forget many times. He has room for improvement in every way.”
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.