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Real Madrid ace could return in time for Barcelona clash, but full-back out for six weeks



Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

As Real Madrid gear up to take on arch-rivals Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final tie, they could be in line to receive an injury boost.

Reports this past weekend suggested that Antonio Rudiger is a doubt for the El Clasico against Barcelona due to a knee injury.

But earlier today, the German international was spotted training and it is now being claimed by Javi Herraez of Cadena SER that the former Chelsea man could become available for the match against the Blaugrana.

Rudiger’s potential availability comes as a boost for Real Madrid, especially at a time when they are set to be without Ferland Mendy.

The Frenchman suffered a calf muscle injury in training last week and it was reported that he would be out of action for close to a month.

However, according to the latest reports from Mario Cortegana of The Athletic, Mendy could be sidelined for a total of six weeks.

Mendy had only recently returned from a two-month spell out on the sidelines due to a knee issue, but is again facing time out on the treatment tables.

With the Frenchman set to be absent for an extended period, Carlo Ancelotti will likely count on David Alaba at left-back, with Eder Militao and the aforementioned Rudiger pairing up at the heart of the defence.

If the former Chelsea ace fails to recover in time, Ancelotti could deploy Alaba as a centre-back alongside Militao while starting Nacho Fernandez in the left-back position.

Mariano Diaz, who was also absent for the 6-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday afternoon, is also expected to return to the squad for the game against Barcelona this midweek.

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Real Madrid News

Brazil not giving up on pursuit of Ancelotti: “Haven’t thrown in the towel yet”



Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images

Speaking to the media, Brazil Football Confederations (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues has claimed that the Selecao have not given up on their pursuit of Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, despite the Italian stating that he will not leave the club.

Brazil have been without a manager since the World Cup in Qatar last year, following which Tite stepped down. The CBF have made Ancelotti their top target and have been pursuing his signing for months but to no avail.

The 63-year-old Italian tactician has, on more than one occasion, made it clear that he will be at Real Madrid next season, with his contract expiring in 2024.

However, CBF president Rodrigues is adamant that Ancelotti’s statements are due to him being cautious as he is under contract at Real Madrid and that the Selecao are not prepared to give up on their quest to appoint him as of yet.

“We made a plan, that ‘Plan A’ is the one you know, Ancelotti, and as they say in the ‘ring’ (boxing), I haven’t thrown in the towel yet,” Rodrigues said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

“Because of contracts, people are cautious,” he added.

Ancelotti, for his part, has repeatedly stated that he does not intend to leave Real Madrid unless he is forced out of the club.

Despite missing out on the La Liga and the UEFA Champions League titles last season, the club continue to back the veteran Italian and are planning for next season with him in charge.

So, despite Rodrigues’ confidence and perseverance, it is extremely unlikely that Ancelotti will be leaving Real Madrid for Brazil this summer.

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