Real Madrid News
Opponent watch: Chelsea name Frank Lampard as manager as Real Madrid clash looms
As Chelsea gear up to take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg next week, they have officially confirmed that Frank Lampard has been re-hired by the club as caretaker manager until the end of the season.
The Blues were left without a manager after they sacked Graham Potter following a poor run of results. The Englishman had only been appointed a couple of months into the new season as a replacement for Thomas Tuchel.
Things have seemingly now come full circle for Chelsea as Lampard, who had been replaced by Tuchel in early 2021, is back at the helm of affairs, albeit only until the end of the season.
The former England international was unattached after being sacked by Everton earlier this season at a time when the Toffees were in the relegation zone in the Premier League.
Prior to that, Lampard had spent around 18-19 months in charge of Chelsea, between 2019 and early 2021. During that time, he managed 84 matches, winning 44 of those (D15 L25).
There had been reports of talks with other, more accomplished managers such as Luis Enrique, Julian Nagelsmann and Mauricio Pochettino, who is also a potential candidate for Real Madrid if Carlo Ancelotti steps down.
However, for the time being, Chelsea have gone ahead with Lampard, but only in a caretaker capacity and only until the end of the season, at which point they could likely appoint one of the aforementioned names as permanent manager.
Chelsea will play Real Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final at the Santiago Bernabeu next week before hosting the Merengues at Stamford Bridge for the reverse fixture a week later.
Given their current form and Lampard’s underwhelming track record, Real Madrid will enter the contest as favourites to progress to the semi-finals.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season
Real Madrid set out on a mission to change the minds of Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez earlier this week. After all, all three players were contemplating a departure from the club for a gross lack of minutes.
Los Blancos’ latest approach seems to have impacted Ceballos’ position in a positive fashion. However, Fabrizio Romano reveals that it has not changed Marco Asensio’s mind.
According to the Italian journalist, the Spaniard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as a free agent.
Of the numerous options on his table, he sees Aston Villa and PSG to be the best bets. In fact, Villa have already submitted their opening bid for the player as revealed by Fabrizio Romano once again.
After a dramatic final day of action in the Premier League, Aston Villa finished in the European spots and will participate in the UEFA Conference League next season. While a move to the English club would be a steep step down, it will see Asensio receive regular playing time.
Paris-Saint Germain, on that front, appears the more probable destination. The French club are close to losing both Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr ahead of the new season, and Asensio would thus fit in as a starting quality winger. Moreover, they offer Champions League football.
The Spaniard’s role at Real Madrid this season has not been minor by any means considering his contributions. In 30 La Liga appearances, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals and provided six assists in addition to creating nine big chances and averaging 1.4 key passes per game.
However, that does not satisfy the winger who wishes to be a starter week in and week out. His departure in June appears to be now written in stone, and the club should feel hard done to not make a penny of his move.
Many in Los Blancos’ administration see Brahim Diaz as a direct replacement for the Spanish international if he leaves. Needless to say, the AC Milan star’s future will closely depend on Asensio’s situation.