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La Liga defender coy on impending summer move to Real Madrid: “Bit up in the air”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Speaking during an interview on Vamos (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Rayo Vallecano defender Fran Garcia remained coy on his reported summer transfer to former club Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Garcia is a graduate of the Real Madrid youth academy, but joined Rayo Vallecano in 2020, initially on loan, before the move was made permanent a year later. Since then, he has grown into a vital part of the team and has been one of the best-performing left-backs in La Liga.

Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 23-year-old for some time now. And during the January transfer window, when Bayer Leverkusen made a move to sign him, Los Blancos decided to exercise the first-refusal option and sign him at the end of the season.

Garcia has a €10 million release clause in his Rayo Vallecano contract. Considering that Real Madrid still own 50% of his rights, the club will be signing him for just €5 million.

An official confirmation has not been made by either club, but according to various reliable media outlets, the deal is good as done. However, Fran Garcia, during his interview, refused to acknowledge the transfer, stating that he remains contracted with Rayo until 2025.

“I have said it many times: I am a Rayo player until 2025. I have a contract and I am delighted and proud to belong to Rayo because it is the club that has given me the opportunity to grow professionally, to take that step forward once I left Castilla and I will always be grateful to them,” he said.

“It’s true that there’s a lot of talk about the end of the season, but it’s all a bit up in the air. It’s true that there’s a lot of talk, but it’s already been said even by Madrid that at the end of the season they will decide what the situation is and what’s going on with the squad,” Garcia explained.

“I’m going to try to do my best to keep growing and keep improving day by day. That’s my objective.”

During the interview, Garcia also opened up on his chance to sign for Bayer Leverkusen and why the move did not go through as he said:

“It was an opportunity to reach European competition, Xabi Alonso also told me that he wanted me to join now in the winter window. But it didn’t only depend on me, it also depended on Rayo and they also had to communicate it to Madrid.

“In the end, it was decided to finish the season here and at the end of the season to see what happened. I told Rayo that I was happy to be here.”

While Garcia might not be willing to spill the beans on his impending move to Real Madrid as of yet, reports suggest that the Merengues are very happy with how he has been performing at Rayo Vallecano and consider him a great investment for the present and future.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Benzema, Kane, Fran Garcia, Ceballos ahead of Real Madrid vs Athletic Club



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has said that club captain Karim Benzema is ready to play his side’s last league game against Athletic Club while also citing that one must not forget that the Frenchman still has one more year left on his current deal.

Speaking ahead of Madrid’s final game of the 2022/23 season, the manager spoke on several aspects, including the team’s transfer plans, Benzema’s future and his own continuity.

When asked about Benzema, the manager said (h/t SPORT), “Benzema is ready to play tomorrow, he’s recovered.” He went on to add, “I agree with Benzema. Internet is not the reality. He has another year on his contract. I think it’s clear.”

At the same time, he subsequently admitted that Benzema is mostly on his way out. “The legends of this club have to retire at Real Madrid. This is what I believe and what the club believes. But the player maybe doesn’t think the same.”

In terms of the squad for the upcoming game, he mentioned, “We want to say goodbye to our fans. They’re all ready to play. Only Mariano won’t be there, the others are fine. We want to finish in the best possible way. Then we’ll rest and prepare for next season.”

Meanwhile, Benzema’s potential departure would mean Madrid will look to sign a new number 9. In this regard, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is said to be on the list and while addressing the same, the Italian said,

“Harry Kane? I’m sure you all are curious to see what will happen next season. But Kane is a Tottenham player and we have to respect this.”

He went on to add, “I think we’re going to have a different squad [next season]. There are players whose contracts are running out, but it will be a competitive squad and one that makes me very excited.”

Furthermore, the manager also confirmed that he will be at Real Madrid next season. “I’m happy at Real Madrid. No problems with the club. I’m very happy to continue and we will try to do better next season.”

Madrid’s main man also went on to admit that he cannot make everyone in the squad happy. 

“It is true that some have had little prominence, but I have tried to keep all the players motivated. It is impossible to keep them all happy. Sometimes you have to put up with that discontent from the players. I feel that there are some who have played very little.”

Speaking about the plan for the next season, he added, “Next year’s squad will be very competitive. Obviously there are contracts that expire and there will be different players. But it will be competitive.”

“Yes, it’s true — Fran García will be our first signing,” Ancelotti confirmed, but refused to talk about Brahim Diaz’s potential arrival.

“Brahim Díaz? I can’t say anything on him right now, I can’t comment…”.

He also revealed that the likes of Nacho and Dani Ceballos will decide their own fate. “They know what we think of them. I think they have everything very clear. They are waiting for the end of the season to decide what they want to do. Everything is in their hands.”

When asked about Brahim Diaz, he simply said, “I can’t talk about him right now.”

Lastly, when asked how much would he rate the 2022/23 season, he said, “It’s difficult to rate yourself. What I can say is that it’s been a very long season. We’ve worked hard and sometimes I haven’t always been able to transmit a very high level of motivation. 

“It’s not It’s easy to motivate every three days. I’ve given everything I could give. I put myself on a positive note, but next year I’m going to do better,” he concluded.

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