As we head into the third gameweek of La Liga, Real Madrid already look well-placed to defend their crown. They berated Celta Vigo 1-4 away from home, and will now make the trip to Catalunya to take on Espanyol.
Carlo Ancelotti does not have a 100% fit squad at his disposal for this game, with Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriziola out injured, while Nacho also misses out.
Dani Carvajal, Ferland Mendy, David Alaba, Antonio Rudiger, and Eder Militao round off a five-man defence.
Ancelotti does, however, have the entire midfield ready for the clash. Toni Kroos returns after suffering from flu, joining his forever midfield partner Luka Modric.
Rodrygo, too, has made his way back into the team after missing the opening two games. He will have to claw his way into the starting lineup, fighting Federico Valverde for the right-wing spot.
As for Marco Asensio, he continues to be included in the squad list until Los Blancos can find a definitive solution for his immediate future. The same holds for out-of-favour striker Mariano Diaz as well.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.