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Carlo Ancelotti talks Kroos, Vinicius, Bellingham, Guler, Ramos ahead of Arandina vs Real Madrid

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s journey in the Copa del Rey begins tomorrow as they prepare to face off against Arandina in the Round of 32.

The Merengues have a hectic schedule coming up and thus a positive performance tomorrow could go a long way in establishing momentum.

Carlo Ancelotti, who was recently handed a two-year extension by the club, answered the media’s burning questions in the pre-match conference.

Real Madrid won last season’s edition with the team emerging victorious against Osasuna in the finals.

Reminding everyone that his men are currently the reigning champions, Ancelotti said: “We are the current title holders. We will try to win it again and do our best.”

The clash is seen as a good opportunity to rest some of the regular starters, especially with injuries doing a number on Real Madrid this campaign.

Ancelotti affirmed some exclusions beforehand, stating: “Kroos, Tchouaméni, and Vinicius will not play tomorrow.”

“Toni Kroos has some problems, he won’t travel tomorrow.

“Kroos has suffered a small problem in his ankle vs Mallorca but he will be available for the Supercopa in Saudi Arabia,” Ancelotti clarified.

As for Tchouameni, Ancelotti explained that he simply needs rest: “Tchouaméni needs rest.”

With regard to Vinicius’ recovery, he lauded his professionalism. “He’s a very serious person. He and the physios have done an incredible job,” he professed.

Claiming everyone else will board the flight to the small city of Aranda del Duero, he stated: “All the players but Tchouaméni, Kroos, and Vinicius travel for the game and can play.”

When asked to comment on Sergio Ramos, Ancelotti only had words of appraisal.

I love him, I wish him the best. He’s a very serious professional,” the manager remarked.

The Madrid back-line has faced a series of casualties so far, which has given rise to the possibility of Dani Carvajal starting as a center-half.

When questioned if the Spaniard would start as a center-back, Ancelotti shed some light on youth player Carrillo as well as the veteran Nacho, who are both capable of slotting in.

“He’s an option but there’s also Carrillo and Nacho,” the 64-year-old stated.

Ferland Mendy was also brought up as Ancelotti claimed his participation tomorrow is ruled out, but he will be available in the Supercopa. He expressed: “Ferland Mendy will not play tomorrow. He’s back for the Supercopa.”

After spending the entirety of the season recovering from injuries, Arda Guler’s long-awaited debut is finally in sight.

The Italian manager uplifted optimism by teasing that tomorrow may finally be the day the Turkish sensation dons the Royal White jersey, and may, in fact, feature in the XI. “Arda Güler has options to start tomorrow,” he exclaimed.

Providing an update on Eduardo Camavinga who was seen training with the team today, Ancelotti said: “Camavinga is back tomorrow.”

With Andriy Lunin establishing a starting spot in the lineup, tomorrow will be Kepa Arrizabalaga’s time to shine. “Kepa will play tomorrow,” Ancelotti expressed.

The renovations of the Santiago Bernabeu were brought up, to which Ancelotti commented it would aid the players’ morale.

Better atmosphere, it’s good for us. The players feel more motivated.”

Praise for the Golden Boy winner then followed by Ancelotti labeling him as the creme de la creme. “Jude Bellingham is the best player in the world,” he boldly remarked.

“I’ve won Copa del Rey two times. Both unforgettable. We’re 100% focused on this competition,” the four-time Champions League winner added.

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Real Madrid News

PSG president wanted Real Madrid to bear Mbappe’s €80 million loyalty bonus

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

It is only a matter of days before Kylian Mbappe is officially confirmed as a Real Madrid player.

The French superstar announced his departure from PSG as a free agent recently and even though nothing is official yet, everything points to him arriving at the Spanish capital club.

An official announcement and presentation are expected to take place sometime before the UEFA Euro 2024 starts.

While the move is all but done, it appears that PSG, in particular president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are left with a bitter taste over Mbappe’s imminent exit.

Al-Khelaifi wanted Real Madrid to pay €80 million

As has already been reported, Al-Khelaifi tried to convince Mbappe to snub Real Madrid by presenting various arguments which had no effect.

Now, French publication L’Equipe has brought forth a report which claims that the PSG president simply cannot accept the fact that Mbappe is joining Real Madrid for free.

And things are now happening behind the scenes which suggest that the Frenchman’s departure will be far from smooth and amicable.

Indeed, as per the report, PSG have not paid Mbappe his salary for the month of April as well as an additional bonus he was due.

This is because of the €80 million loyalty bonus payment that the club had made to the France captain back in February, even though he had waived it off after deciding not to renew his contract.

Headed for an ugly split with PSG. (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images)

In August 2023, after he was frozen out of the team for refusing to extend his contract, Mbapp agreed to give up his loyalty bonus so that PSG do not suffer a huge financial hit as a result of his leaving as a free agent this summer.

However, Al Khelaifi made a U-turn and granted Mbappe the loyalty bonus in February this year, with the caveat that Real Madrid cover the €80 million as compensation for the 25-year-old leaving for free.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, however, refused that demand as he deemed that it was completely out of the question, as the La Liga champions are not obligated to pay for a player who will be out of contract in a few weeks.

A complete breakdown

Things have not been well between Mbappe and Al-Khelaifi ever since the player informed him of his decision to leave PSG.

The report suggests that the pair are no longer on speaking terms and that lawyers are involved in trying to resolve the matter of the unpaid dues.

PSG are looking for written confirmation that their all-time top scorer will waive the €80 million, which he had agreed to in the past, only for the club to make the payment.

As for Mbappe, he wants the money he is owed as part of his salary which was not paid in April.

Al-Khelaifi has not had the best relation with Perez either and this development further escalates the situation.

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