Real Madrid are looking to get serious with their pursuit of some of football’s biggest young stars. Jude Bellingham appears close to signing this summer, but he will not be the last Galactico signing in the foreseeable future.
In Kylian Mbappe and Alphonso Davies, Los Blancos are eyeing serious gunpowder in the windows to come. In fact, some reports suggest that the Merengues’ administration wish to sign all three in the coming transfer window.
According to reports from The Telegraph, Erling Haaland also has a dream to play for Real Madrid. The Norwegian star has it on his bucket list and could be another player Real Madrid scout closely in the years to come.
Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm after signing for Manchester City last June. Real Madrid were, in fact, equally well placed to sign him but the player chose a stint under Guardiola.
Since then, the 22-year-old has gone on to score a whopping 36 goals and has provided seven assists in just 33 league games. In the Champions League, he boasts of twelve goals and an assist in nine games.
The youngster has a contract with the Premier League side that runs until June 2027. However, a release clause will come into play in 2024, after which Real Madrid can snap him up for a fee of €220-€240 million.
Many at the Bernabeu see Haaland as the natural successor to Karim Benzema. With Real Madrid linked with Kylian Mbappe as well, however, one wonders if the misfortune of last time will strike again.
Haaland will be one of the centres of attention at the Etihad later tonight when Real Madrid take on Manchester City in the second leg of the UCL semifinal.
It will be an audition of sorts for the striker to convince the club he dreams of representing, though at this stage, he requires no such formality.
Bellingham, Brahim start in a 4-4-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Granada
Having reclaimed the top spot in the La Liga table last weekend, Real Madrid will be eager to consolidate their position when they host Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real Madrid are currently on a four-game winning streak across all competitions, having beaten SC Braga, Valencia, Cadiz, and more recently Napoli.
Despite the spate of injuries affecting the squad, Carlo Ancelotti & co. have found a way to keep the winning momentum going and will be eager to bag another victory at home tomorrow.
Granada, meanwhile, find themselves at the opposite end of the table, but there could be a case of the new-manager bounce, for they recently replaced Paco Lopez with Alexander Medina as their head coach.
Real Madrid go into the game without Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Luka Modric, and Vinicius Jr., all of whom are injured.
Here’s how Ancelotti could set his team up at the Santiago Bernabeu when they take on Granada tomorrow.
Kepa Arrizabalaga is fit again and has been included in the Real Madrid squad list to face Granada after missing the last four matches. However, Andriy Lunin will again be preferred in goal tomorrow, as was confirmed by manager Ancelotti during his presser.
Ancelotti has a decision to make his team selection as tomorrow’s game could be a good chance for him to rotate. At the same time, with no midweek fixture coming up, the Italian could be tempted to stick with his strongest XI.
As such, the Real Madrid manager could continue with the centre-back pairing of Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba, while Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy should take up the full-back positions on the right and left sides, respectively.
Since the injuries to Camavinga and Tchouameni, Toni Kroos has operated in the pivot midfield position, albeit with support from Federico Valverde. Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos will get another starting opportunity in the injury-enforced absence of Modric.
Jude Bellingham is fit and ready to play despite an injury scare during training earlier today. The 20-year-old Englishman will start in his usual role as the attacking midfielder and pose a threat to the opposition backline.
Ancelotti opted to partner Brahim Diaz with Rodrygo Goes in the attacking department against Napoli earlier this week. Given how the two performed, the manager is unlikely to tinker with the pairing.
Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Ceballos, Bellingham, Brahim, Rodrygo.
Carlo Ancelotti will turn to Joselu to reinforce the attacking department during the game, while young Nico Paz is likely to get more minutes again after scoring his first senior goal for Real Madrid against Napoli.
Captain Nacho Fernandez is likely to come onto the pitch to provide some relief to one of the two centre-backs during the latter stages of the contest. Fran Garcia could replace Ferland Mendy.
Young forward Gonzalo Garcia is another academy talent who could be in for some minutes on Saturday.