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€120 million Real Madrid target has not reached agreement with any other club – report

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Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Argentina’s triumph at the FIFA World Cup will go down in the history books as Lionel Messi’s crowning moment. However, the success is equally befitting to all the players on Lionel Scaloni’s roster, every one of whom had a stellar showing.

Enzo Fernandez is one such young star who shone the brightest in the Albiceleste’s campaign in Qatar. The midfielder started the event as a bench player for Scaloni but earned a starting spot in the knockouts courtesy of his high quality.

In seven World Cup appearances for Argentina, the youngster scored one goal and provided one assist. Further, he averaged a key pass, a shot, and close to nine defensive actions per game.

Eventually, he would walk up onto the podium to collect the FIFA Best Young Player of the tournament award just weeks later.

The 21-year-old’s consistent displays on the biggest stage have left several too European clubs dreaming of his signing. Real Madrid have shown an interest in Enzo Fernandez, as have Liverpool, with reports suggesting that the latter had a pre-agreement to sign him.

However, according to reports from Pedro Sepulveda, Enzo Fernandez has not reached an agreement with any club so far, leaving the race wide open. Furthermore, there have been no official negotiations so far with his party.

Real Madrid are also in the running for Fernandez’s signing, alongside the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. However, Benfica refuse to negotiate a transfer fee for their star and demand his release clause of €120 million to part ways with him in January. 

Los Blancos do not intend to make any purchases in the winter window but will go after his signing if he is still available come June. Given that Jude Bellingham’s transfer now looks increasingly unclear, Fernandez would be the ideal candidate in the long term for the midfield.

There have been reports that Real Madrid could look to trigger the 21-year-old’s release clause in January itself but sign him in the summer. Whether they decide to take that course of action or bide their time and keep pushing for Bellingham remains to be seen.

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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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