Real Madrid News
Real Madrid have no plans to sign any players in January – report
Real Madrid and Barcelona, two traditional giants of Spanish football, are facing contrasting situations at the moment. While Barça are struggling with Financial Fair Play regulations, their arch-rivals have taken a prudent option in the market.
As such, there is one similarity that could bind the two in this upcoming January transfer window, which is to do as little market activity as possible.
Reports earlier this month suggested that Barcelona are planning to stay put in January rather than going after new players. According to Arancha Rodriguez (h/t Madrix Xtra), Real Madrid, too, are expected to employ a similar method next month.
The club’s idea is to not sign a single player in the January transfer window, even though they require immediate reinforcements in several areas of the pitch, including the midfield and fullback departments.
Instead of signing new players, it appears Real Madrid are focusing on the contract situations of several star players, such as Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio, all of who have their contracts at Santiago Bernabeu expire at the end of the season.
Real Madrid are yet to convince Kroos or Modric to spend one more season at the Bernabeu, whereas Asensio and Ceballos may receive proposals from other top clubs across Europe.
However, the bigger scope behind Real Madrid’s inactivity in January could be the fact that the club are eyeing a much bigger fish in the summer of 2023. Borussia Dortmund starlet Jude Bellingham has already been targeted as a transfer priority for Los Blancos, especially after his explosion in the World Cup.
The Englishman has reportedly emerged as an ideal long-term replacement option for the ageing Modric. Real Madrid, though, have other options, too, including Manuel Locatelli, who is unlikely to cost a fortune and could be an excellent cost-effective alternative for Bellingham.
Real Madrid News
Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash
In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.
The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.
It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.
Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.
The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.
One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.
As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.
If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing.