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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Barcelona

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Photo via Getty

Carlo Ancelotti has seemingly opted to replace star striker Karim Benzema with Brazilian prodigy Rodrygo Goes for the El Clasico against Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The French hitman is ruled out with a leg injury, leaving a gaping hole in the frontline for Los Blancos. Despite having natural strikers at his disposal in Luka Jovic and Mariano Diaz, Ancelotti has gone in with Rodrygo in a false-nine role.

The Brazilian will have compatriot Vinicius Junior for company on the left-hand side, while Federico Valverde gets the nod on the right flank, possibly to combat the attacking threat of Jordi Alba.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro will form the midfield trifecta for the La Liga title favourites. Eduardo Camavinga finds himself on the bench yet again, while Marco Asensio also remains among the substitutes.

In defence, there are no major surprises as Nacho Fernandez moves out to left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy. The Real Madrid cantera also leads the team on the night against Barcelona. Eder Militao, David Alaba, and Dani Carvajal form the rest of the backline while Thibaut Courtois continues in goal.

Official Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

Transfer Triumph: In-demand defender picks Real Madrid above other suitors

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Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid have received a major transfer boost as Lille defender, Leny Yoro, has chosen to join Los Blancos over other interested clubs, reports Alejandro Alcazar via SPORT.

When Paris Saint-Germain attempted to negotiate a deal with Lille, offering more money than Real Madrid, Yoro made it clear he preferred the Spanish giants. 

Despite PSG’s efforts, including meetings with Yoro’s representatives, they could not convince him to change his mind.

Interestingly, the outlet mentions that Yoro is following a similar path to his compatriot Aurelien Tchouameni, who also chose Real Madrid despite competition from PSG and several Premier League teams. 

Real Madrid really value Yoro

Real Madrid see Yoro as a valuable addition, especially with the recent departure of Nacho. This move has made it crucial for the club to find a reliable replacement, and Yoro is their chosen candidate. 

It is to be noted that Yoro has one year remaining on his contract with Lille, who initially asked for a hefty €100 million transfer fee. 

Leny Yoro has picked Real Madrid over PSG, Liverpool and Man United. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

This amount was considered too high for a player who could leave for free after a year. Lille eventually reduced the asking price to €60 million, an amount that PSG and other clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool were willing to meet. 

However, Real Madrid were not prepared to pay more than €30 million, knowing that Yoro wanted to join them and could do so for free next year.

What is Real Madrid’s strategy?

It is said that Real Madrid’s initial plan was to let Yoro play one more year at Lille and sign him for free in 2025. They were even ready to offer Yoro a special signing bonus, similar to what they did with David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger, which would be added to his salary. 

But Nacho’s departure changed everything. Real Madrid now urgently need a fourth central defender, prompting them to enter negotiations with Lille, something they had previously avoided.

To secure Yoro’s signing this summer, Real Madrid are considering raising their offer to €40 million, including performance-based bonuses. 

Lille might accept this offer, knowing that Yoro could either join Real Madrid now or stay for another year and leave for free.

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