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La Liga defender opens up on past transfer links to Real Madrid: “I don’t know”



Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Ahead of Villarreal’s La Liga match against Real Madrid later this evening, defender Pau Torres has opened up on the rumours linking him with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the recent past.

The Spanish international had been on the radars of several top clubs during the summer window, with Real Madrid also being credited with an interest. However, nothing materialised as Torres ended up staying at Villarreal, while Los Blancos brought in Antonio Rudiger.

As he gears up to take on Madrid today, Torres opened up on the transfer rumours during an interview with AS and said: “Well, I don’t know how much there was talk about me or not in that sense either.

“In the end, it was just rumours, but I never had a call from anyone, or anything like that. My work has always been focused on the club, and when you play these kinds of games you always want to give your best, because in the end, it’s in these games that you see the real people.”

During the same chat, Torres revealed how he desired to beat Real Madrid, as he had never seen a victory against the reigning Spanish champions.

“Beating teams like Madrid or Barcelona is very special, I remember recently when we won in Barcelona… that day I thought we had already beaten them and that I haven’t beaten Madrid,” Torres said.

“It’s true that since I’ve been here we’ve played some very good games against Madrid, but we haven’t been able to win. We haven’t managed to get past a draw and it’s another challenge I’m looking forward to. It’s always nice to beat the best and beating Real Madrid is something everyone would like to do.”

Praising Carlo Ancelotti’s side, he added: “They are a team that can do many things, we see that they have no trouble scoring goals and take advantage of any space to do damage. There’s no need to explain the quality and capabilities of an opponent like this.”

Highlighting the threat posed by Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema, Torres said: “Vinicius has shown that with space he is a decisive player, we will have to be very close to him and not give him many options.

“And Benzema is the latest Ballon d’Or, a great player who has been getting better and better in recent years and who is going to take advantage of the slightest chance he gets. So we’ll try not to give them any chances.”

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Real Madrid News

Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash



Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.

The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.

It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.

Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.

With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.

The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.

One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.

As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.

If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing. 

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