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Courtois still not back in training, availability for El Clasico ‘complicated’ – report



Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

From a Real Madrid perspective, witnessing Barcelona’s catastrophic 3-3 draw against Inter Milan will fill them with confidence ahead of El Clasico.

However, the fitness of one of the side’s key players in Thibaut Courtois remains a doubt ahead of the much-awaited fixture, which could swing the tie in the opposition’s favour. An update has now surfaced which is nothing short of a blow for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

According to the latest information provided by MARCA, the Belgian goalkeeper did not train with the rest of the group on Thursday, with the prospect of him participating in the contest against the Blaugrana regarded as ‘complicated’ at this point.

In the 29-year-old’s absence, Andriy Lunin has been an able deputy, standing tall against any danger that has come his way in games against CA Osasuna, Getafe and Shakhtar Donetsk.

However, with the weight of expectations that come with El Clasico, alongside the champions of Europe still being behind Barça on goal difference at the top of La Liga, Lunin will be under pressure to deliver.

Especially considering how clutch Courtois was throughout last season, particularly at the grandest of stages.

The former Chelsea No.1’s showing in the Champions League final against Liverpool stands out, as many described his outing as the best individual performance by a goalkeeper in the biggest game in club football in a long time.

Considering Barcelona’s goal threat going forward with names such as Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati and Raphinha springing to mind, Madridistas will hope the ex-Chelsea shot-stopper is fit for the upcoming clash.

However, it would be unnecessary to risk Courtois’ fitness, as a long-term injury could dampen the club’s ambitions this season.

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Real Madrid News

51-year-old manager the ‘clear favourite’ to succeed Ancelotti at Real Madrid – report



Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

With there being uncertainty surrounding the future of Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, it seems like Los Blancos have identified the ideal candidate to succeed the Italian if he leaves.

Indeed, according to TyC Sports in Argentina, former PSG and Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino is the clear favourite to replace Ancelotti once he moves on from Real Madrid.

The 51-year-old tactician is currently unattached after having been let go of by PSG last summer. And, he could now make a sensational return to management with Real Madrid.

Ancelotti has a contract with the Merengues until the summer of 2024. But, his future is not entirely secure at this point as the current champions of Spain and Europe are losing the La Liga title race to Barcelona while they are also hanging by a thread in Copa del Rey.

Unless the 63-year-old leads Real Madrid to a major trophy this term, an exit could be on the cards. And, the Brazilian national team are lying in wait to swoop him away if such a scenario materialises.

Several names such as Raul Gonzalez, Zinedine Zidane, Julian Nagelsmann, and Xabi Alonso have been linked with the Real Madrid job if Ancelotti leaves.

But, now it is being claimed that Pochettino has emerged as the frontrunner to take over from the Italian tactician. The 51-year-old is understood to be president Florentino Perez’s most favourite candidate and is seen as a perfect fit at Real Madrid.

Pochettino had the chance of taking over at Real Madrid in the past but could not secure a release from Tottenham. Now, though, he is unattached and has reportedly even rejected a chance to rejoin Spurs as he is ready to wait until the summer for Real Madrid.

The report also suggests that Pochettino has previously rejected the likes of Ajax, Chelsea, Belgium national team and Brazil as well as he continues to wait for an approach from Los Blancos at the end of the season.

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