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Opponent watch: Chelsea trio return to training ahead of Real Madrid clash



Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

After a disappointing defeat to Villarreal in La Liga, Real Madrid will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Chelsea in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

It will not be an easy task for the defending champions, despite Chelsea’s poor form in the Premier League. Their newly-appointed manager Frank Lampard is already looking forward to the clash, stating, “Anything can happen”.

In a blow for Real Madrid, Chelsea have also been boosted by the return of Thiago Silva. The 38-year-old defensive leader has been out of action for a chunk of this year due to a ligament injury, missing a host of matches including one of the two Round of 16 clashes against Borussia Dortmund.

But he has returned to training ahead of Real Madrid. Silva is not the only player to return to training either, with his teammates Mason Mount and N’Golo Kante also joining him on the list, as confirmed by the club’s official website.

Mount, who has racked up four assists in the UCL so far, had been suffering from a broken pelvis. While he returned to training last week, he suffered a recurrence of the issue which led to him missing the match against Wolves over the weekend, casting doubts over his involvement against Madrid.

Meanwhile, Kante had been struggling with a hamstring injury for almost the entirety of the campaign. The midfield general only recently made a full return to action but was again left out of the Wolves clash as Lampard sought to manage his recovery and fitness.

However, the Frenchman, along with Mount and Silva has returned to training but it remains to be seen if they will be available for Chelsea when they take on Real Madrid this midweek.

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Real Madrid News

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




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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