Mathys Tel was one of Bayern Munich’s biggest investments during the summer transfer window, as they paid €28 million to secure the services of the attacker from Stade Rennais.
Aged just 16 then, it was a calculated risk by the Bavarians, who were determined to add more youthful exuberance to their attacking department, especially after the departure of Robert Lewandowski, coupled with Thomas Muller’s lack of form.
However, as revealed by German news outlet TZ (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Tel might not have landed at Bayern Munich in the summer, as Real Madrid were interested in his services.
The report suggests the Whites had been keeping close track of the Frenchman from his time at Rennes. The teenage prospect, after all, made quite an impression with his explosive performances in the French youth leagues and had even racked up ten competitive appearances for the Ligue 1 team by the end of last season.
Real Madrid, therefore, had considered Tel as an excellent long-term investment option. But the player did not join the Merengues as he had already committed to joining Bayern Munich. He was, in fact, delighted at the opportunity to join the Bundesliga outfit.
The move has paid off well, too, it seems, as Tel has recently produced some excellent performances in the Bundesliga. He has already netted three goals in seven league appearances and looks set to become a trusted option for coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Real Madrid, though, have made their investments elsewhere. They notably secured the signing of Endrick from Palmeiras, although the Brazilian is not eligible to move to Europe until he turns 18 in 2024.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.