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Five key Real Madrid stars likely to be rested against Cacereno – report



Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

According to Spanish publication AS, the likes of Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and David Alaba will not play against Cacereno in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, January 3.

Real Madrid are set to open their Copa del Rey 2022-23 account with an away game against Cacereno, a team that plays in the fourth division of the Spanish football league system. Interestingly enough, Cacereno’s home ground, Estadio Principe Felipe, has a capacity of just 7000 spectators.

As far as Real Madrid’s team news is concerned, manager Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make many changes to the first team, with several second-string players anticipated to get the nod.

AS’s claim regarding the unavailability of the aforementioned players comes after the team attended the training session at the Valdebebas ahead of the fixture. The players attended the session in front of more than 5000 fans and Ancelotti divided his men into two teams.

The team wearing the bibs consisted of Lunin; Vazquez, Militao, Nacho, Odriozola; Ceballos, Tchouameni, Camavinga; Asensio, Rodrygo and Hazard. The likes of Lopez; Vallejo, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Modric; Arribas, Benzema, and Vinicius were in the other team.

After the game, which lasted 20 minutes, the players attended a shooting session where Benzema, Vinicius, Modric, Kroos, and Alaba were absent, leading to the speculation that these names will not play against Cacereno on Tuesday.

Furthermore, while these names will miss out as part of the tactical approach, Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal, and Mariano Diaz might miss out due to their respective injuries.

Courtois and Carvajal worked indoors but did not participate in the subsequent training. Mariano Diaz, on the other hand, is suffering from a mild sprain in his right ankle.

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Atletico Madrid News

Real Madrid star approached by Atletico over summer move, player wants to stay



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos is one of the players who has Real Madrid on the fence after his recent resurgence. The club appeared certain to part ways with the player during the commencement of the 2022/23 season but no longer find the decision as straightforward.

According to reports from MARCA, Real Madrid are in no hurry to renew Ceballos’ contract. Though his deal runs out in the summer, the Merengues prefer to focus fully on the competitions they are alive in instead of entering auctions for his renewal.

Ceballos has given Los Blancos the signal that his priority is to stay and is waiting for an offer from the board. However, nobody from the administration has contacted him yet.

Sniffing a moment of opportunity, Atletico Madrid have entered the scene and conveyed their interest in signing the midfield star. Los Rojiblancos have already called his entourage twice in recent weeks and a move away from the Bernabeu cannot be ruled out.

At 26 years of age, the Spaniard wishes for regular starts and playing time. It would be difficult for such demands to be met in Real Madrid owing to the sheer number of young prodigies rising in the middle of Los Blancos.

Come next season, Ceballos could be lost in the mix of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde and veterans like Toni Kroos, while Jude Bellingham could also arrive.

Ceballos has made 19 appearances for the defending champions in La Liga this season, providing one assist in that duration. At just 10 starts and 44 minutes averaged per game, however, his role is clearly centred around the bench.

Moving to Atletico Madrid could thus work well in his favour for he is almost guaranteed playing time in Simeone’s system which is in dire need of a quality attacking midfielder.

The player is currently on international duty with La Roja for the Euro qualifiers. In the team’s opener against Norway, he came on at the hour mark and made a strong cameo with three key passes and a big chance created.

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