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Real Madrid, Chelsea leading race to sign World Cup’s ‘best defender’



Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images,

According to journalist Gianluca Di Marzio on, Real Madrid and Chelsea are the ‘most interested’ teams in securing the signing of Croatia and RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.

The left-footed, towering centre-back has been one of the best defenders at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 and played a key role in Croatia’s semi-final run in the tournament.

His rise to prominence in Qatar and his performances for RB Leipzig before that have put him on the radars of several top clubs, including Real Madrid and Chelsea.

While Los Blancos have an abundance of options in the centre-back department, Nacho Fernandez is out of contract at the end of the season and is yet to renew, due to his lack of game-time.

Jesus Vallejo does not feature prominently in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and could be moved on as well. In such a scenario, there could be room open for a new central defender to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu, making Gvardiol an interesting target for Real Madrid.

However, the Merengues will need to stave off the interest from Chelsea if they wish to land the Croatian centre-half. The Blues had shown interest in Gvardiol back in the summer as well and are again sniffing around for a possible opening to swoop him away from RB Leipzig.

As per the update from Di Marzio, both Chelsea and Real Madrid have already put in bids for Gvardiol, but his value has further skyrocketed in lieu of him being the ‘best defender’ at the World Cup.

The report claims that Chelsea could test the waters with a fresh offer in January, whereas Real Madrid would prefer to wait until the summer to make their move.

Los Blancos have already beaten Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian wonderkid Endrick recently. And they are likely to be keen on coming out on top in the battle for Gvardiol’s signing as well.

But with the 20-year-old’s value soaring high following a stunning World Cup run, it remains to be seen if Real Madrid are willing to splash the big bucks on him, especially when they might have to spend heavily on a new midfielder next summer.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti devises plan to prepare Real Madrid defensive ace for Bayern Munich clash



Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Eder Militao has charted a remarkable recovery to return from an ACL injury he suffered on the first day of the 2023/24 season.

The Brazilian international came back to action in late March, featuring for a couple of minutes against Athletic Club – the very team against whom he had sustained the injury.

Following that, the centre-back has also featured sparingly in games against Mallorca and Manchester City, although he is yet to start a game.

Ancelotti has plan for Militao

Now, AS reports that Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has devised a plan for Militao to be ready to go when the team face Bayern Munich later this month in the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg.

Militao is expected to play an important role in the Champions League semi-finals. The coaching staff is counting on him to reinforce the team’s defensive capabilities.

The first phase of his reintegration into the dynamics of the competition, which was more psychological than physical, has already been completed.

Ancelotti has a plan for Militao. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ancelotti, who has now drawn up a special plan to give him minutes in order to get him ready (physically) for the semi-finals.

First Militao will be used in the Clásico today, depending on how the game goes. Then against Real Sociedad next week, on this occasion, the Brazilian could even likely be a starter.

At centre-back or right-back

Militao will have options to play against Bayern Munich in the centre of defence, alongside Antonio Rudiger, but also at right-back, as Dani Carvajal will miss the game because he picked up his third yellow card of the season at the Etihad.

It will all depend on how the Brazilian performs in the two remaining games against Barça and Real Sociedad before the UCL semi-final first leg on 30 April.

For the second leg, on 8 May, at the Bernabeu, Militao will compete on equal terms with the rest of the back four. There will be one more game between the two contests, against Cadiz, for him to get minutes. That’s what Ancelotti is counting on with the Brazilian.

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