Despite booking their place in the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid are already planning ahead for the future, in what could be a busy summer ahead.
While the club’s reported pursuit of Kylian Mbappe has been well documented, it appears Los Merengues are also aiming to address other glaring issues in the team, with the right-back department emerging as a priority.
Indeed, Real Madrid are keen on adding some much-needed competition for Dani Carvajal, whose inconsistent performances have been questioned in recent weeks.
According to a recent report from Fichajes, Real Madrid have identified three potential options at right-back in an attempt to beef up the options in the wide defensive role next season.
The club’s primary target is Dodo, who is currently plying his trade at Shakhtar Donetsk. Formerly of Coritiba FC, the Brazilian is widely regarded as one of the best right-backs in Ukraine and has been effective with his ability to provide width going forward.
The 23-year-old has racked up an impressive 17 assists for Shakhtar in less than 100 competitive appearances. He is also a former Brazil youth international, potentially making him a smart long-term investment for Real Madrid.
Dodo is not the only option, however, as Perez is also keeping an eye on Alvaro Odriozola. The former Real Sociedad starlet never had the best of times at the Bernabeu or even during his loan spell at Bayern.
But the Real Madrid camp are aware of his swift revival at Fiorentina, having established himself as a first-team regular for La Viola, with a total of 22 league appearances so far.
Odrizola has racked up consistent performances in Serie A, which is welcome news for Real Madrid, who can possibly offload him for a higher value in the summer. But it appears the club’s hierarchy would ideally keep hold of his services and grant him his former role of being a competitor to Carvajal at right-back.
The final option Real Madrid are looking at is Sergio Santos. The 21-year-old is currently registered to RM Castilla and has been one of the best performers for the youth team this season.
Santos had notably made his La Liga debut earlier in the season, featuring as a late substitute in the win over RCD Mallorca. Real Madrid are hoping to grant him a promotion to the senior side next season, effectively giving him the opportunity to compete with Carvajal for a place in the first-team.
Real Madrid youngster in line for significant minutes against Granada – report
Nico Paz was long hyped as Real Madrid Castilla’s brightest upcoming star. The media constantly kept the spotlight on the young Argentine through pre-season as he made a strong impression under Carlo Ancelotti in preseason.
His breakthrough eventually arrived, courtesy of Real Madrid’s injury crisis. He has now made two appearances for the team in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League and even recorded his first goal for the club earlier this week against Napoli.
Taking his chances
As revealed by AS (h/t The Madrid Zone), Paz has impressed management with his cameo against Napoli and will be called up for Real Madrid’s clash against Granada tomorrow.
In fact, there is a good chance he sees significant game time on the night.
After all, Ancelotti is without the likes of Luka Modric, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga in the middle of the park.
With Toni Kroos, Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde, and Jude Bellingham filling the starting spots, Paz serves as the manager’s first-choice backup off the bench.
Paz voices his elation
Paz’s introduction against Napoli changed the texture of the game, and it was only poetic that he got the goal that put Real Madrid ahead again on the night.
Speaking to the media after his special night, the Castilla star did not hold back on his emotions.
“This is a dream. For a moment I didn’t even believe it. Very happy to be able to help the team. I dared. I was in automatic mode, I didn’t even know what I was doing. I hit it and well.”
“This is also a message for the other youth players: it is possible to get there. Ancelotti congratulated me, and the whole staff. They are an incredible group and I want to thank them all,” he added, urging his Castilla teammates to keep pushing.