Real Madrid News
La Liga president reacts to Valverde-Baena incident: “Doesn’t justify what happened”
La Liga president Javier Tebas has finally had his say on the incident that took place between Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde and Villarreal ace Alex Baena last weekend.
After the La Liga match between the two sides at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday night, Valverde is understood to have punched Baena in the bus park area.
Valverde’s entourage claim that the midfielder’s actions were provoked by distasteful remarks made by Baena towards the Real Madrid star’s wife’s pregnancy complications.
It was alleged that the Villarreal midfielder had made incendiary comments during the Copa del Rey match between the two clubs back in January and did so again this past Saturday, leading to Valverde punching him.
While Villarreal did not file a complaint, Baena himself took the matter to the National Police and filed assault charges against Valverde. In an official statement, the 21-year-old said that he had never made any such remarks as was being reported.
The Anti-Violence Commission has also gotten involved in the scene and Tebas has now said that the decision on the sanctions for the Real Madrid star will be decided by the commission. Furthermore, he stated that while Valverde might have been provoked, it does not justify his actions.
“The Anti-violence Commission has taken the matter into its own hands and we are going to wait. It is still an aggression that takes place in a league stadium,” Tebas said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
“I think the provocation is a mitigating factor but it doesn’t justify what happened. It will be the Anti-Violence Commission or the Competition Committee. It is a reprehensible act.”
Earlier today, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti and defender David Alaba refused to comment on the incident during their press conference ahead of the match against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Only time will tell how things proceed with Valverde and what kind of sanctions he might face for the actions against Baena.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid have not ‘given up’ on Karim Benzema’s renewal yet – report
The cloud of uncertainty over Karim Benzema’s future has served as a major headache for the Real Madrid board, as they kickstart their team planning ahead of the new season.
Recent reports claim the Frenchman is strongly considering a move to Saudi Arabia, after receiving a lucrative €150 million offer from Al Ittihad. He was close to renewing his contract at Santiago Bernabeu not too long ago, but it appears the tables have turned lately.
Nevertheless, Real Madrid are yet to give up on Benzema and still harbour hopes of renewing his contract in the coming weeks, reports Alfredo Matilla.
The Spanish journalist suggests Real Madrid have not closed the file on Benzema. Coach Carlo Ancelotti has recently met the forward to clarify his future and it appears the club are set to do everything they can to keep hold of the player.
Benzema’s departure, after all, could put the club in a major dilemma, where they must either sign a top-class striker or settle for a low-cost alternative for the entirety of next season.
Harry Kane has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for Benzema. But his acquisition could potentially jeopardise Real Madrid’s bid to sign either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe in 2024. The club have also faced difficulties negotiating with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman.
As far as the low-cost options are concerned, Real Madrid are interested in Roberto Firmino, who will become a free agent in the summer.
However, the Brazilian international is not the most productive striker around and his struggles in front of goal could put more pressure on players like Vinicius Junior next season.
Real Madrid, therefore, will hope to keep hold of Benzema’s services for another year. Unfortunately, though, the player has given a cold response so far and left training early, without speaking too much.
So it will be interesting to see whether or not the veteran striker opts to remain at Bernabeu for another year.