Diego Simeone sees the need for a change in scenery at centre-back as a non-negotiable heading into next season. Atletico Madrid do have quality options for the central defence but nobody has convinced in recent times as a consistent performer.
A combination of sloppy mistakes and fitness struggles has riddled the Colchoneros’ solidity at the back this season and has become a recurring theme. Thus, Atleti’s hunt for a new centre-half never came as a big surprise.
According to reports from The Athletic, Caglar Soyuncu is expected to sign a pre-contract agreement with the Rojiblancos in the coming weeks. The Turkish international has been a target for the club for a long time and a paper-to-pen agreement thus arrives as a strong development.
Soyuncu has fallen out of favour at Leicester City this season, making just four Premier League appearances for them all season. Considering that he had 28 starts in his last season, it has been a steep way down.
The Turkish international, whose contract expires on June 30, has enjoyed sporadic re-emergence in recent weeks as he completed 90 minutes in both of Leicester’s last two league games. In fact, he was one of the team’s best players against Wolves.
Joining Atletico Madrid on a free transfer, he will have to fight it out for a starting spot with Jose Maria Gimenez, Mario Hermoso, and Stefan Savic. However, given the trio’s inconsistencies and fitness troubles, Soyuncu could become a regular starter quickly in his career at the club.
In his few Premier League appearances, the 26-year-old averages 1.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and close to four clearances per game. Further, he wins 85% of his duels and is a potent defensive force.
Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid
Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”
He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”
And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.
“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.
“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”
“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.
And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.
“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”
Source: Mundo Deportivo