With Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti set to be out of contract at the end of the current season, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding his future.
It has been constantly suggested that the Italian tactician will be on his way to the Brazilian national team, with a recent update even claiming that everything is agreed and signed.
But, sources in Spain believe that there is nothing signed and in fact, Real Madrid are now considering offering a new contract to the 64-year-old.
Roberto De Zerbi on the agenda?
With Ancelotti’s future still up in the air, Joaquim Piera of SPORT is now reporting that Real Madrid have identified Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi as a candidate to replace the veteran tactician.
The 44-year-old Italian manager has done a sterling job since taking over the reins at Brighton and was recently heralded by Pep Guardiola as “one of the most influential technicians of the last twenty years.”
With Florentino Perez looking to revolutionise the squad for next season and the amount of young talent already at Real Madrid, De Zerbi is seen as an ideal bet to get the best out of them and lead the team to success.
Negotiations taking place
The report goes on to state that negotiations between Real Madrid and De Zerbi have already taken place, although they are still in the initial phase.
Perez believes that the 44-year-old is the right man to get the best out of the wealth of young talent at the club in the form of Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Jude Bellingham, and Arda Guler, to which Endrick will also be added next summer.
Former Real Madrid midfielder and current Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso was understood to be the frontrunner, but it appears now that De Zerbi could also be in the fray to succeed Ancelotti.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo