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Liverpool superstar facing a race against time to be ready for Real Madrid clash



Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

With the second half of the campaign well underway, Real Madrid are facing a tough period ahead as they not only look to overtake Barcelona in the league table but also do well in the UEFA Champions League.

The reigning European champions are poised to face Liverpool in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. The first leg will be played on February 21 at the iconic Anfield.

According to the Daily Mail, Real Madrid could be handed a major boost heading into this contest as Liverpool’s star player Virgil van Dijk is facing a race against time to be fit for the match.

The defender suffered a hamstring injury and was taken off during Liverpool’s defeat to Brentford earlier this week. The injury was not thought to be severe at first, but it appears his hamstring complaints are more serious, which in turn, could put him out on the sidelines for a significant period.

Jurgen Klopp, who was confident about van Dijk returning at the earliest, now faces a dilemma. Van Dijk is set to undergo a scan to determine the extent of his injury, but everything suggests he could find it difficult to be fit in time for the Real Madrid game.

This could serve as a blow for the Liverpool team that have been leaking goals all season. Even with van Dijk leading the backline, the Reds have struggled to remain resilient and their problems could increase tenfold without the services of their Dutch defensive giant, especially against a team like Real Madrid.

The Merengues have been far from perfect in the defensive department this season. But they have been excellent going forward, even with star man Karim Benzema struggling with injuries.

With van Dijk potentially ruled out, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, and Benzema will hope to cause tandem in Liverpool’s defensive lines when these two teams meet each other in February.

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Real Madrid News

€40 million midfielder prefers a move to Real Madrid over Premier League clubs – report



The race for Jude Bellingham has become tightly contested in recent weeks. Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid all pursue the Borussia Dortmund star closely and hope to win his signing come June.

Given the heavy competition, it is natural that the clubs have alternative names on their tables. One such name on the radars of the aforementioned clubs is Celta Vigo’s Gabri Veiga.

The La Liga midfielder has offers from the Premier League for the summer. However, SER reports that the player has asked Real Madrid if they will match the offer from England and has displayed his interest in joining the club.

Veiga’s release clause with Celta Vigo is valued at €40 million. If the Merengues can match such a valuation, either through direct means or player exchanges, the young phenom will don white next season.

Real Madrid have followed Veiga’s profile for a while now and have made their interest in his signing known to his environment. Yet, the Spanish outlet also adds that Veiga’s potential arrival in June would not close the doors for Jude Bellingham’s signing.

Rafa Marin of Real Madrid Castilla is a player who interests Celta Vigo, and unsurprisingly is one of the names on Los Blancos’ table to utilise in a swap deal for Veiga. Yet, it is safe to say that talks of a player exchange are in a rudimentary stage.

The 20-year-old Spanish phenom has lit up La Liga this season. In 25 appearances for Celta Vigo this season, he has scored nine goals and provided three assists. He averages close to one key pass per game and has created five big chances in his league campaign.

With Los Blancos unwilling to let go of Bellingham’s pursuit irrespective of Veiga’s signing, the question will boil down to the financial leeway the Merengues have and whether they can afford to shell out €40 million in addition to the Englishman’s fee.

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