After picking up a mid-game injury against Celtic in the Champions League, Karim Benzema has been out of action in Real Madrid’s successive wins against Mallorca and RB Leipzig.
As the La Liga champions prepare to face Atletico Madrid on Sunday night, it seems unlikely that the Frenchman will be available for the contest. However, a brand-new revelation suggests that he is still hoping against hope to make the cut for the fierce derby clash.
According to the latest information provided by AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), Karim Benzema does not want to miss the game against Atleti, and as a result, his availability status will remain doubtful until the last second.
With the club captain’s spectacular showings in the biggest of matches last season, it’s clear to see that he thrives when all eyes are on him.
Additionally, the prolific goalscorer would seemingly like to lead his side to victory, as even sharing the spoils could mean Barcelona leapfrog Real Madrid in the league table if they manage to Elche on Saturday.
However, it is also key to understand that Los Blancos are incredibly reliant on Benzema’s fitness for the remainder of the 2022/23 season.
Aside from Vinicius Jr., the 34-year-old remains the European champions’ prime goalscoring threat, considering the side decided not to bring in a brand-new marquee forward after the failure to sign Kylian Mbappe.
As a result, the likeliest outcome remains that Carlo Ancelotti keeps his talismanic striker away from the starting lineup, with either Rodrygo or Eden Hazard operating as a false nine.
However, one can safely assume that Karim Benzema is doing everything to start from the off against Diego Simeone’s side and become the difference maker.
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.