The start of this season bore some very bad news for Real Madrid’s defensive line, with Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois suffering from ACL injuries, while David Alaba has also struggled for fitness on a number of occasions.
Given that Alaba and Rudiger have both crossed 30, the Galacticos camp has been working on alternatives for the future.
While the Austrian and German both have a few more good years in them given the fact that centre-backs peak later, it would be wise for Los Blancos to survey their options, especially if Militao’s return from injury is slow.
As such, Madrid have been closely linked with Sporting CP’s defensive gem Goncalo Inacio, the 22-year-old reportedly very well-liked by the staff.
Florentino Perez had greenlit the operation
Earlier reports claimed that the Madrid president had also agreed to spend around €60 million to acquire the defender this winter.
Despite the heavy links, according to Fabrizio Romano (h/t Madrid Xtra via X), the Merengues are not yet negotiating with the defender.
Inacio is the Portuguese side’s homegrown talent, and since making the jump up to the first team just three years ago, he has already played 135 games for the senior team and is a vital part of their project.
As Nacho is also in the final year of his Madrid contract, it could be wise for the Spanish giants to invest in a long-term partner for Militao.
There have also been reports of serious interest from the Premier League, with clubs like Liverpool and Manchester United also eyeing Inacio.
While all have the spending power, Madrid would be prepared to go on the front foot in January, putting them in a stronger position should they wish to seal the deal.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.