Manchester City have told Erling Haaland that they would not come in his way if he wishes to move to Spain after four or five years, but have advised him to join them at the moment.
It’s no secret that Haaland loves Spain, the Spanish culture and even owns a property there, but if the reports coming from The Times are to be believed, the Cityzens have taken a significant leap in acquiring the young forward.
The aforementioned source says they are even close to striking a deal with Haaland, which will make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
City have been in pole position since February when the club’s official met with Haaland’s representatives in Monaco.
Back then, the team agreed to meet his release clause and are also willing to pay the agent’s fee, taking the operation somewhere around €120 million.
The news comes as a huge blow for Madrid since they are looking to acquire a top-class striker who can accompany Karim Benzema next season. But even if they miss out on Haaland, PSG’s Kylian Mbappe remains another player in the pipeline.
The 2018 World Cup winner reportedly has an agreement with Real, as he sees his current PSG deal running out at the end of the season.
PSG, however, are not the one to bow out that easily. They are doing everything in their power to convince the 23-year-old by literally waving a blank cheque at him.
But if Mbapee does decide to move to Real, City will strengthen their position in Haaland’s pursuit. In an otherwise scenario, City are still hopeful that they will, indeed, land the Norweigian by assuring him that they would not stand in his way if he decides to move to Spain some four or five years on.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
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.
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.