In recent days, there has been a lot of speculation about Real Madrid wanting to reinforce their full-back positions in the coming transfer windows.
With Dani Carvajal in his thirties and having fitness problems, it makes sense for Los Blancos to bring in a long-term replacement who can be groomed to take over in a couple of years.
As for the left-back slot, Real Madrid have Ferland Mendy, who at 27, is still in his prime years and has a contract with the club that runs until 2025.
However, recent reports suggest that officials within the club are not entirely convinced about the Frenchman, who does leave a lot to be desired when it comes to his attacking abilities.
At the same time, talks over a new deal for the Frenchman have not taken place leading to speculations that Real Madrid might be open to offloading him if the right offer arrives.
Amidst this, SPORT is now reporting that Manchester City and PSG are keeping a close watch on the situation of Mendy at Real Madrid and would be interested in signing him.
City boss Pep Guardiola has been using Joao Cancelo at left-back for a while now. While the club did sign Sergio Gomez in the summer, he is still lacking in experience at the highest level, which could force the Premier League champions into the market for another left-sided full-back.
Meanwhile, PSG boss Christophe Galtier is said to be not convinced by either Juan Bernat or Portuguese prodigy Nuno Mendes. Hence, the two teams are keeping tabs on the situation of Mendy.
Real Madrid, for their part, have their sights set on a new left-back, with names like Fran Garcia and Alphonso Davies doing the rounds. Hence, the report states that they would be open to selling Mendy as long as they can recoup the €50 million they spent on his signing in 2019.
It will certainly be interesting to see if there is any movement with regard to Mendy in the summer as PSG and Manchester City lurk.
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.