Real Madrid are set to face Barcelona in a pre-season friendly El Clasico in Las Vegas on July 26th in what promises to be an entertaining encounter.
It will be a test of the Catalan ‘rebuild’ against the newly crowned champions of Europe. Moreover, it is a chance for Los Blancos to avenge their 4-0 loss from last season.
However, it seems that Carlo Ancelotti has been handed an early blow in the build-up to the much-awaited game. Diario AS report that Karim Benzema is out for the clash at the Allegiant Stadium and will only return later in pre-season.
The Frenchman is expected to arrive at the training camp on July 19th, leaving him with only three training sessions before the Clasico against Barça. Given the big season ahead and the player’s age, manager Carlo Ancelotti prefers to rest Benzema and avoid risking any injuries.
It is important to note that the French international also missed the last fixture against Barcelona which the team went on to lose at the Santiago Bernabeu. The manager tried a novel forward line on that night, but the plan backfired miserably as the Blaugrana dominated the play.
Given the low stakes of a pre-season clash, it is understandable why the manager prefers not to risk his star player. However, every Clasico is a game of prestige and it goes without saying that Los Blancos will go all guns blazing at the Allegiant Stadium.
Last season, Benzema scored 27 goals and provided 12 assists in just 32 league appearances for Real Madrid. He was also directly involved in 17 goals for his team in the Champions League.
Real Madrid were offered Man City loanee in January, club decided against move – Romano
Joao Cancelo’s loan move to Bayern Munich from Manchester City in the final days of the January transfer window came as a huge shock.
The Portuguese international signed for the Bavarian giants on a loan deal until the end of the season with a non-mandatory purchase option worth €70 million.
But, according to Fabrizio Romano, before his move to Bayern Munich, Cancelo was also offered to Real Madrid, who decided against signing any player in the January transfer window.
The Manchester City loanee has been on Los Blancos’ radars in the past, but the club made it clear that they are uninterested in signing any new players during the winter window.
As things stand, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are Carlo Ancelotti’s options at right-back, but there are concerns over their fitness and longevity.
But, as things stand, Real Madrid have no plans to sign a new right-back in the summer as they have full faith in both Carvajal and Vazquez.
Furthermore, Romano adds that the Merengues believe that they have a top right-back for the future in the form of Vinicius Tobias.
The teenage Brazilian joined the club in April last year from Shakhtar Donetsk on loan with a purchase option. He has been earning rave reviews for his performances for Real Madrid’s Castilla outfit under Raul Gonzalez.
So, there is a good chance that the Spanish and European champions will sign Tobias permanently.
All these factors seemingly compelled them against making a move for Cancelo when he was offered to the club last month. The Portuguese international has already made his debut for Bayern Munich and registered an assist on his debut.
Whether they decide to sign him permanently for €70 million in the summer remains to be seen. As for Real Madrid, though, there do not seem to be any imminent plans to reinforce the right-back position.