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Real Madrid defender close to returning from injury, but could miss Espanyol clash



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

According to reports from MARCA, Ferland Mendy is close to returning to action for Real Madrid. The Frenchman has overcome his fitness setbacks, but will likely not be back in time to face Espanyol at the weekend.

Mendy could be available for Real Madrid’s midweek clash against Liverpool and will almost certainly be fit for El Clasico next weekend.

The Frenchman has been on the sidelines since the Merengues’ 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid in January. Ancelotti was forced to replace the left-back in the quarterfinal of the Copa del Rey, and the initial prognosis stated that he would miss six weeks.

In his absence, Real Madrid were forced to use Eduardo Camavinga as a left-back before David Alaba returned from injury to take over duties. On other occasions, it was Nacho Fernandez who started in the position.

Mendy came under immense criticism in the first part of the season with many pointing fingers at him as the weak link in the Real Madrid setup. While his defensive numbers are undeniably positive, his contributions in the final third seemed unsatisfactory.

However, six weeks on the sidelines may have done the player a world of good. There is now a sense of realisation over Mendy’s importance in the team as he is the only natural left-back available in the team.

It remains to be seen if Ancelotti rushes the player back for the second leg against Liverpool or conservatively brings him in for the Clasico. In a situation where Vinicius Jr has been struggling down the left flank, one would hope that Mendy’s return unlocks the Brazilian and allows him to free his wings.

The 27-year-old has started 14 La Liga games for Real Madrid this season and had racked up one assist in the process. He has overseen two clean sheets and averages close to seven defensive actions per game.

With Fran Garcia set to come in and compete for the left-back spot next season, Mendy must look to bounce back strong.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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