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Real Madrid closely monitoring 19-year-old Portuguese centre-back – report

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Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

According to reports from Record Portugal, Real Madrid are closely monitoring the situation of 19-year-old Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva. The Merengues have sent their scouts to watch him as they see him as a possible signing for the summer.

Los Blancos may boast of some of the biggest names in central defence, but very few of them can be counted upon in the long run.

David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger are not getting any younger. The same case can be made about Nacho Fernandez who is not only approaching the twilight of his career but also contemplating an exit in the summer.

Thus, the only reliable long-term defensive asset with the club is Eder Militao.

Come June, Real Madrid will thus set out on a mission to find another player to bolster the department. Be it as a regular starter or a strong backup, Silva promises to be a strong contender.

The youngster primarily plays as a right centre-back and has been a regular starter for Benfica under Roger Schmidt.

He has made 19 starts for the Portuguese club in Liga Portugal this season, scoring two goals and overseeing ten clean sheets. He averages a staggering 1.3 tackles, two interceptions and 3.5 clearances per game in addition to four duels won per game.

Silva’s contract with Benfica runs until the summer of 2027, this favouring the Portuguese party on the negotiations front. Real Madrid may be forced to pay a fortune if they wish for his services but can be assured of a high-ceiling player for at least the next decade in the process.

Needless to say, the Merengues do have other players as options on their roster including Josko Gvardiol and the young players coming up from the youth ranks, such as Rafa Marin, who is showing great promise.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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