Real Madrid News
Carlo Ancelotti set to bench veteran midfielder for RB Leipzig clash
Real Madrid will lock horns with German giants RB Leipzig in their second UEFA Champions League Group F encounter on Wednesday night.
The Merengues began the defence of their European crown with a handsome win over Celtic away in Scotland and will be gunning for another victory against the Bundesliga club.
However, they will have to go into the game without four players as Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and Lucas Vazquez have been ruled out while Alvaro Odriozola is also a major doubt.
With the game closing in, manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly has his starting XI almost figured out. It had been previously reported that the Italian plans to start with a front-three of Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior, with Eden Hazard dropping out.
Now, Diario AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Ancelotti has decided on his preferred midfield unit for the game against Leipzig on Wednesday.
It is claimed that the manager will opt to start with Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the centre of the park, meaning veteran midfielder Toni Kroos will be left out on the bench.
The former Germany international captained the team on Sunday against RCD Mallorca and performed admirably. But, having started each of the last two matches, the Real Madrid superstar now looks set to be rested against Leipzig on Wednesday.
Instead, Tchouameni, who did not play a single minute over the weekend, will return to the side. The Merengues are said to be extremely happy with the French wonderkid and already see him as a vital player in the team.
Modric and Camavinga, who made substitute appearances against Mallorca, will be reinstated to the lineup as well. Valverde, who had started in midfield at the weekend, will be moved into the frontline as iterated earlier.
There could be one change in the defence as well, with Dani Carvajal expected to start at right-back after featuring for only 20 minutes on Sunday.
Real Madrid News
Nacho set to stay at Real Madrid, will be new club captain – report
Real Madrid have finally received some good news as MARCA confirms that Nacho has finally made his decision about his future, and is set to continue at the club for the foreseeable future.
His contract expires in the summer, and Real Madrid had tabled an extension for the player, which was not accepted by the Spaniard at the time. Now, however, he has decided to reject offers from Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and AC Milan.
Nacho will sign a one year extension, with the option to extend for another year if both parties reach an agreement.
His continuity also means that he will be the new club captain for the 2023/24 season, since Karim Benzema is leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer. Luka Modric will be second captain, followed by Daniel Carvajal and Toni Kroos.
Carlo Ancelotti has also spoken to the player, confirming that they trust him for next season in the team, which has gone a long way in helping convince the player.
The Italian gaffer also spoke about the Spanish defender’s contract situation after the game against Athletic Club yesterday, saying:
“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it.”
While a centre-back by trade, Nacho has played across the defence for Madrid continuously, including putting shifts at left-back, right-back, and even centre-back.
His departure would have probably pushed Madrid to sign another defender, especially since they are considering selling Ferland Mendy if a good offer arrives.
Regardless of that, though, Madrid are moving to sign Alphonso Davies, and have already made initial contacts with the player. Bayern Munich have not rejected their advances.
Further, the los blancos management have already met with Davies’ entourage twice, cementing their interest in the Canadian ace.