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Official: Real Madrid squad list against Villarreal

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Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid beat fourth division side CP Cacereno in the Copa del Rey round of 32 last fortnight, but were not lucky in the round of 16 draw. They have been pitted against Villarreal, who beat them 2-1 on 7th January.

The Copa game is essentially a replay of the same, with the clash taking place at the Estadio la Ceramica. Weighing up the difficulty of the fixture, Carlo Ancelotti has called up his best team for the clash.

The Italian gaffer confirmed that Thibaut Courtois was going to start tomorrow despite their inclusion of Andriy Lunin, who has been given the responsibility in cup games generally.

David Alaba is still injured, and will not be travelling with the team to Eastern Spain. The same goes for Aurelien Tchouameni, who was not a part of the Spanish Super Cup either.

Their presence has been replaced by Castilla players in the form of Vinicius Tobias and Mario Martin, respectively.

At 37, Luka Modric needs regular rest to play at his best level. Consequently, he has been dropped from this game, with Ancelotti keeping an eye out at the Athletic Club clash on the weekend.

Eden Hazard and Mariano Diaz have received call-ups, but are not expected to start. We could, however, see one or both of them brought on in the second half.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set to sign a four-year contract with the club

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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