The story of Real Madrid’s Erling Haaland pursuit is nothing short of incredible. There have been days when Los Blancos have led the race to sign the Norweigan and an equal number of days when they have been discarded as an option.
A month ago, Real Madrid were said to be out of the race because of their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe. Haaland wished to be the sole star of the team he joined and having to share the spotlight with the French protege did not appeal to him.
However, the Madrid based side are now back in the race and find themselves with close to a 50% chance of landing the striker.
Manchester City are the biggest rivals to Real Madrid in the race for the Borussia Dortmund star. Pep Guardiola’s side are said to have tempted the player with their project and economical offer and held the upper hand over Los Blancos.
According to reports from Fabrizio Romano, the proposal from Madrid side is very similar to that from City. The final decision, however, is yet to be made by the player.
The Norweigan reportedly preferred a move to La Liga over the other top European leagues for the coming summer. With Barcelona out of the race for financial reasons, Real Madrid find themselves with a good chance of signing the star striker.
In Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Vinicius Jr, Madrid will boast of one of the most feared attacks in world football. However, it will mean that the team can no longer look to spend big on reinforcing other positions in the upcoming transfer window.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.