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Chelsea enlist Brazil icon’s help to beat Real Madrid to teenage wonderkid’s signing

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Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images

According to The Times, Chelsea hosted Palmeiras wonderkid Endrick and his family at their Cobham training facility in order to convince him to join them over the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 16-year-old wonderkid is one of the most sought-after young prospects in football currently after enjoying a stunning breakthrough in Brazilian footballing scenes this year.

From making a splash at the Copinha tournament to making his senior debut for Palmeiras and winning the Brazilian Serie A title with the club, Endrick has enjoyed a stunning 2022 and is on the radars of top clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Barcelona and Arsenal among others.

Fabrizio Romano recently reported that Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSG were the frontrunners to sign the teenage striker although there were no agreements with any of the clubs.

However, now, Chelsea seem to have made their move to convince Endrick to sign for them by hosting him and his family at the club’s training facilities.

During the visit, Chelsea also made their star defender and Brazil icon Thiago Silva interact with the 16-year-old as they look to beat the competition for his capture.

Silva is a legendary figure not only in Brazil but in football. At 38, he is set to represent Selecao at the upcoming FIFA World Cup where he will add to his 109 international caps. Interacting with such an icon is certain to have had an influence on Endrick.

The teenager’s father, Douglas, has been holding discussions with several clubs in Europe over a possible move, although he will only be able to join in 2024 when he turns 18 years old.

Signing Endrick will also need a significant investment as he has a €60 million release clause in his contract with Palmeiras. With Chelsea making their move for the Brazilian prodigy, it will be interesting to see how Real Madrid react.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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