Star forward Karim Benzema is all set to mark his return for the Osasuna clash after being named in the 22-man squad for matchday 7.
The club captain, who missed more than three weeks of action after sustaining an injury against Celtic in the UEFA Champions League, will hope to appear right from the start, although it is expected that Carlo Ancelotti will ease him into it.
Meanwhile, makeshift wing-back Lucas Vazquez continues to miss out, meaning that Dani Carvajal will once again start for the team. On the other hand, veteran midfielder Luka Modric remains the most notable absentee.
The 37-year-old suffered a hip injury while being away on international duty for Croatia. While he did play full minutes of his team’s 3-1 win over Austria, he returned to club duties with a muscle problem at the height of the hip.
The good thing, however, remains the fact that he will be available for selection during the first El Clasico of the season.
Hence, with Modric out, the likes of Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde will compete for the remaining spot.
On the other hand, if Benzema does start from the bench, Valverde might be pushed to the attacking role once again, leaving Camavinga the most obvious choice for the midfield.
Real Madrid squad for Osasuna clash
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Canizares
Midfielders: Kroos, Camavinga, Valverde, Tchouameni, Cabellos
Defenders: Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Vallejo, Nacho, Odriozola, Rudiger, Mendy
Forwards: Hazard, Benzema, Asensio, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Mariano
Real Madrid midfielder set to sign a four-year contract with the club
In a major development, journalist Tomas Gonzalez-Martin is reporting that Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has decided to sign a new contract with the club and will pen a four-year deal to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The 26-year-old midfielder’s current contract with Real Madrid stands to expire at the end of the season. And there had been conflicting reports over whether he would be offered a new deal by the Merengues.
But the Spaniard has managed to turn things around spectacularly in recent weeks, putting up top displays one after the other, helping Real Madrid emerge out of a poor run at the start of the new year.
It has convinced the club to hand him a new contract and it seems like things are moving swiftly on the renewal front for Ceballos.
Indeed, as per the update from Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Real Madrid have decided to offer him a new four-year contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2027. It will see the midfielder receive an improved salary to the one that he is currently earning.
And Ceballos has decided to sign the deal. The former Real Betis ace has always maintained that he wants to continue at the Bernabeu beyond the current campaign. And the two parties could now be close to shaking hands on a new contract.
Ceballos joined Real Madrid from Real Betis back in 2017, arriving as one of the most talented young midfielders in La Liga. However, he found the going tough initially, thanks to the hegemony of the midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro.
The Spaniard spent a couple of seasons on loan at Arsenal before returning to the club in 2021. If not for an injury while away at the Tokyo Olympics, Ceballos could have been sold that year.
Having returned to action in January last year, he has slowly but surely gained importance in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans. And he is now set to be rewarded with a new four-year contract by the champions of Spain and Europe.