Dani Carvajal is ageing like fine wine. The Real Madrid veteran may be 31 years of age, but his performances this season are right up there with the best in the business.
In 11 league starts this season, the Spaniard has scored twice and provided two assists for Real Madrid. Further, he averages 1.3 key passes and nine defensive actions per game.
Carvajal at his current level is single-handedly capable of covering the right-back position for Los Blancos this season.
Yet, the management understandably prioritises the future and have identified Chelsea’s Reece James as a well-placed replacement.
Not the lone party
According to reports from The Independent via GOAL, Manchester City are also interested in signing James.
The Premier League champions have seen him as the man to succeed Kyle Walker for a long time and hope to sign him in the coming transfer windows.
Needless to say, this comes as a big blow to Real Madrid’s plan of signing the star. With England’s biggest team in his pursuit, James could well opt to stay in his home country.
Nevertheless, the player has not yet given any indication of a desire to leave Chelsea yet. His contract with the Blues, in fact, runs until 2028.
Real Madrid’s monetary limit
Earlier this week, reports brought to light that Carlo Ancelotti had approved the English star’s signing as a long-term right-back option. His arrival, however, is far from simple.
James has a long-term deal with Chelsea and is currently valued at €65 million on the transfer market.
Real Madrid refuse to meet that figure and do not intend to pay over €40 million for his services.
The entry of Manchester City could well change Los Blancos’ position on the financial front. The final decision lies with the player and his entourage.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.