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Real Madrid eyeing 20-year-old South American starlet, would send him to Castilla before first-team role

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Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

Come next season, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti could end up with three top goalkeepers at his disposal or just one.

Thibaut Courtois will be recovered from his ACL injury and ready to go, and could be joined by Andriy Lunin, his deputy for a while now, as well as Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is currently on loan at the club and has expressed his desire to continue for longer.

At the same time, though, Courtois could end up being the only goalkeeper left at Ancelotti’s disposal if Lunin opts to go elsewhere in search of a starting berth and Kepa is not signed permanently.

In the latter scenario, the Merengues would have to enter the market for a new backup and long-term heir to Courtois.

Randall Rodriguez a target

As such, Real Madrid have identified 20-year-old Penarol goalkeeper Randall Rodriguez as a target to reinforce the position in the summer of 2024, reports AS.

Real Madrid are looking favourably on his development in recent months after his surprise performance at the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina last summer.

A product of Penarol’s youth system, Rodriguez has become one of the most talked-about young footballers in Uruguay, even though he is yet to make a big splash at the first-team level with his club.

Standing at 1.89m tall, the 20-year-old is considered one of the future gems in the South American nation. His performances during the U-20 World Cup helped him make a name for himself among the elite.

One for the future. (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the Valverde path

Although no initial contacts have been made between Real Madrid and Penarol yet, the formula put forward by the board would be to sign Rodriguez for the Castilla team initially.

The Merengues intend on following the model that was put in place for Federico Valverde, who spent his first few years in Europe with the reserve team before making the leap to the first team.

It should be noted that relations between Penarol and Real Madrid continue to be excellent after the operation with the midfielder.

However, at the moment, it is unclear whether Los Blancos would sign Rodriguez on a permanent transfer or a loan with an option to buy.

It must be noted that the goalkeeping situation in Castilla also generates debate, with the continuity of Lucas Cañizares in the air, potentially opening up a spot for the Uruguayan.

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Features

Real Madrid’s best lineup next season with Kroos retiring, Mbappe and Endrick joining

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Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP via Getty Images

It is set up to be a transformative summer for Real Madrid. After the UEFA Champions League final has concluded and the grand showdown finally has a victor, the Merengues are expected to undergo a squad revamp.

Indeed, the Santiago Bernabeu is preparing to welcome several high-profile signings, while also bidding farewell to some beloved Madrid legends.

Considering the potential arrivals of Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, as well as Toni Kroos’ recent retirement, here is how Real Madrid could shape up next season:

Goalkeeper

Having made a long-awaited return from injury, Thibaut Courtois is anticipated to guard Real Madrid’s goal next season once more.

The Belgian goalie has already started featuring in the starting XI and is expected to play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, too.

As such, his place for next season is hardly in doubt. However, unlike previous seasons, he will face much fiercer competition from Andriy Lunin, who has enjoyed a stellar campaign.

Defence

Fortifications in the defensive line remain high on Real Madrid’s priority list in the upcoming summer transfer window. However, even with the given options the Royal Whites boast assurance and grit in their back-line.

The likely occupants on the flanks would be Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, who have both produced great exhibitions throughout the campaign.

Ferland Mendy has the full trust of Carlo Ancelotti. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Carvajal is known to punish defensive lines and on the defensive end, his anticipation of forwards has been equally appreciable.

Meanwhile, Mendy’s resurgence this season has earned him immense faith from the coaching staff, as his defensive aptitude continues to set him apart.

In the centre-back positions, Real Madrid are expected to rely on the dependable figures of Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao.

Real Madrid consider Rudiger to be indispensable owing to his front-footed style and the important role he has had to play amidst the injury crisis. Similarly, Militao is valued by the team as he proceeds to regain match fitness after recovering from a long-term injury.

Midfield

The void of Toni Kroos in midfield will compel coach Carlo Ancelotti and co. to
reconsider their midfield strategy.

Real Madrid will be unable to count on Kroos next season. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Thankfully for Real Madrid, their succession stage had begun a while ago and they have ample options to trust in the center of the park.

With Aurelien Tchouameni protecting the base of midfield, Real Madrid will possess security and deep progression.

Ahead, occupying the interior midfield positions, Fede Valverde and Eduardo Camavinga are well-suited to provide a combination of energy off the ball and threat in possession.

And to put the cherry on top, Jude Bellingham’s place as the number 10 behind the two strikers would certify his status as a pivotal playmaker and scorer in the team’s setup.

However, he is adept at making third-man runs and connecting the midfield with the offence and could play deeper to not only make up for Kroos’ absence but also facilitate more options up front.

Attack

Real Madrid’s offensive department is where the largest reform is expected to take place.

Kylian Mbappe’s goalscoring instincts need little introduction by now and he is thus anticipated to be fielded as the striker.

Vinicius Jr. is expected to take up the position as a secondary striker drifting from the left, something he has become quite accustomed to this season.

Endrick will have to battle for a starting spot. (Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

It is worth noting that Endrick could also play a part by either replacing Vinicius off the bench and playing off Mbappe.

It remains to be seen how many men forward Ancelotti will commit to but the presence of Mbappe and Vinicius seems set in stone, given their huge profiles and status in world football. How the manager uses Rodrygo Goes will be interesting to see as well.

All in all, considering Ancelotti’s proficiency in profiling players, Madrid fans can expect to see these stars play in favourable environments.

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