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Osasuna manager hails Ancelotti ahead of Copa del Rey final: “Specialist in winning finals”



Photo by ANDER GILLENEA/AFP via Getty Images

As Real Madrid prepare to take on Osasuna in Copa del Rey final, the Los Rojillos manager, Jagoba Arrasate, has heaped praises on Carlo Ancelotti, saying that the Italian is a ‘specialist in winning finals’.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, Arrasate said (h/t Mundo Deportivo): “He is a specialist in winning finals. We have more than analyzed each other. More than looking for a surprise, what we want is for everyone to give their best version. Today it is very difficult to surprise the rival. The only option to win is play a perfect match.”

It must be remembered that each of Osasuna’s last four matches in Copa del Rey have gone to either extra time or penalties. In their Round of 32 tie against Gimnastic, it took Eric Montes’ own goal in added minutes to come out 2-1 victorious.

They went on to beat Real Betis 4-2 on penalties in the Round of 16 before getting better of Sevilla and Athletic Club in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively. Speaking on the aspect, Arrasate admitted that taking Real Madrid to the added time is going to be very difficult for them.

“We’ve had four extensions and we wouldn’t mind playing another one and even going to penalties. But it will be very difficult to make the game long. We have to raise our bar and make things difficult for our opponents,” he explained.

He went on to explain that despite the magnitude of the game, the players will conceive this fixture as ‘just another game.’ At the same time, he also admitted that it is nearly impossible for them to beat Real Madrid with 11 players.

“We face it as just another game. We have played many times, although we have not been able to win. We know what we have to do. It will be important to bother Real Madrid,” he said.

“It always comes to mind what eleven you can get, but day by day makes you change. I’ll try to be as fair as possible. Tomorrow it’s impossible to win with only eleven [players]. We need everyone to lift the Cup,” he added.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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