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Man City manager reacts to Erling Haaland to Real Madrid links: “He’s happy to be with us”

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

If Real Madrid’s existing squad is not frightening enough, they are prepared to sign Kylian Mbappe in the summer.

Further, it came to light last month that the club have sufficient economic stability to sign Erling Haaland as well, and the option is not completely ruled out.

Despite being a terrific goalscorer, Mbappe is not a centre-forward by trade. Haaland would fill the position perfectly, alleviating Real Madrid’s void since Karim Benzema’s departure.

Pep speaks on Haaland

Speaking to the media earlier this week, Manchester City coach and Spanish legend Pep Guardiola opened up on Erling Haaland’s contractual situation and a possible extension.

“I don’t know,” he modestly said, attempting to not give anything away as revealed by Fabrizio Romano.

He was then asked if Real Madrid’s interest in the player could accelerate talks of a renewal to which he said: “I don’t know, not involved in that.”

“We love him, we want him for a long time at this club. We are happy to have him, hopefully, he’s happy to be with us — this I know,” he added.

The release clause

As revealed last month, Haaland’s contract has separate release clauses for clubs in England and those outside the country. In the case of Los Blancos, they would have to shell out a value of between €100 million and €200 million for the striker.

The only hurdle remaining is the stiff competition for his signing and the negotiations with Manchester City. The player and his entourage are in contact with the club.

Considering that Mbappe will arrive on a free transfer with a bonus of just €60 million, Haaland’s arrival remains a real possibility. Needless to say, Carlo Ancelotti & co. are building a squad to rule the coming decade.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report

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Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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