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Official: Real Madrid draw Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16

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Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

With the group stages of the UEFA Champions League coming to an end this past week, teams who have made it to the knockout stages of the competition, including holders Real Madrid, learned their opponents in the Round of 16 today. The reigning champions face Liverpool in a replay of the last season’s finals.

Real Madrid are the only Spanish team left standing in the UEFA Champions League after finishing at the top of Group F. Rivals Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have all been eliminated from the competition.

Given that they had finished at the top of their group, Los Blancos could have been drawn against any of the second-placed teams from the other groups as no other Spanish team was left in the competition.

Meaning Real Madrid could have drawn Liverpool, Club Brugge, Inter Milan, Eintracht Frankfurt, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and PSG. RB Leipzig were the only team not in contention as they were in the same group as Los Blancos.

In the end, it is Liverpool that have been drawn against Carlo Ancelotti & co. The reigning champions will play the first leg of the Round of 16 encounter away from home at Anfield, before hosting their opponents at the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg.

It will be a replay of the last season’s finals which Real Madrid won to win their 14th European title. The Merengues had beaten Liverpool in the finals of the 2017/18 season and had overcome Jurgen Klopp’s brigade in the quarter-finals of the 2020/21 campaign.

Liverpool are currently eighth in the Premier League and have had a middling start to the season, while they have also been hit with injuries. But with the Round of 16 fixtures set to be played in February and March, they might have a full-strength roster by then.

Remaining Round of 16 fixtures:

RB Leipzig vs Manchester City
Club Brugge vs SL Benfica
AC Milan vs Tottenham
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli
Borussia Dortmund vs Chelsea
Inter Milan vs FC Porto
PSG vs Bayern Munich

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid intensify negotiations for Ligue 1 defender with Nacho on his way out

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Photo by SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images

Now that Nacho is ready to join Al Qadsiah, Real Madrid have decided to ramp up their efforts to sign Lille defender Leny Yoro, reports Jose Felix Diaz via MARCA.

As reported before, Nacho has decided to end his career with the Spanish club as he has agreed to a two-year contract with Al Qadsiah in the Saudi Pro League. With Nacho leaving, Real Madrid now have a spot open in their defence and are eager to fill it with Yoro.

It is important to note that Yoro has attracted a lot of interest from other clubs. Paris Saint-Germain have been particularly active in trying to sign him, offering €60 million for the player. 

Although this offer is close to what Lille wants, Yoro isn’t interested in moving to PSG.

What Yoro is looking forward to is joining Real Madrid. While the player and Real Madrid have a verbal agreement, the deal with Lille still needs to be finalised soon.

What about the transfer fee?

Regarding the transfer fee, Real Madrid are hesitant to match PSG’s €60 million offer because Yoro has only one year left on his contract. 

Real Madrid want to close the signing of Leny Yoro. (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

Initially, the club planned to wait until June 30 to begin serious negotiations. However, due to the increasing interest from clubs like PSG, Manchester United, and Liverpool, they might need to speed up the process.

With Nacho leaving, Real Madrid now has the necessary room to strengthen their defence and Yoro fits the bill. 

Madrid already have Yoro in plans

It must be noted that the club’s management, in accordance with Carlo Ancelotti, is already planning next season’s lineup of centre-backs. 

They expect Rafa Marin to leave, so the defensive lineup for coach Carlo Ancelotti is likely to include Eder Militao, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, and possibly Yoro if they can complete the negotiations successfully.

Real Madrid are focusing on building a strong defence for the upcoming season. They see Yoro as a valuable addition and are working hard to secure his transfer. 

The next steps involve reaching an agreement with Lille and finalizing the transfer details as soon as possible.

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