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Real Madrid face huge obstacle in pursuit of Manchester United defender in January – report

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

This season, Real Madrid has been plagued by an injury crisis and the defensive department has suffered the most casualties, with the entire starting back-line ruled out for the foreseeable future.

After news came out that David Alaba had torn his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), joining Eder Militao on the sidelines, news of Real Madrid surveying replacements in defense began to do the rounds.

With the January transfer window just on the horizon, a number of options have emerged as potential candidates, with an old acquaintance, going by the name of Raphael Varane, also reportedly on the club’s wishlist.

As per prior reports, the club particularly took an interest in the Manchester United defender, as he already has experience donning the fabled Royal White jersey, and elevated to esteemed heights in the Spanish Capital.

Erik Ten Hag not eager to part ways

Ten Hag wants Varane to stay. (Photo by DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, according to ESPN, during the January transfer window, Erik ten Hag hopes to keep Casemiro and Raphael Varane at Manchester United until the end of the season, with Varane’s contract set to expire in 2025.

The Frenchman has endured a difficult period in England, as playtime for him has been scarce this season.

Varane had even dropped down the pecking order, with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and even Jonny Evans among the players Erik Ten Hag appears to favor.

However, the report argues with Varane recently winning his place back and United unable to acquire a replacement on such short notice, his exit is off the cards.

Things could get different if the player made a concerted effort to leave. But in that case, Ten Hag would demand that the team acquire replacements, which would be challenging given the requirement to adhere to Financial Fair Play regulations.

As such, the Champions League winner’s move back to Madrid is unlikely to materialize, unless he attempts to force a departure.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve

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Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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