Real Madrid’s recent win over Paris Saint-Germain is set to have major implications on the overall outlook of the two teams come the end of the season.
The result has already forced PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi to plot an overhaul in the summer, with Leonardo Araujo and Mauricio Pochettino both likely to be sacked.
There are also reports of internal discontent among the PSG employees, with some of them even happy with the club’s shocking elimination from the Champions League.
For Real Madrid, the win could be of tremendous help when it comes to the pursuit of top target Kylian Mbappe. The Spanish giants were keen on securing the services of the Frenchman last summer, but their advances were knocked back by PSG.
However, with Mbappe’s contract expiring at the end of the season, many believe this could be the year the attacker finally moves to his dream club Real Madrid. And according to a recent report from MARCA, talks between the two parties have already intensified and a deal could be agreed by the end of next week.
The transfer cannot be officiated before the end of the season, as Mbappe is heavily invested in helping Paris Saint-Germain reclaim the Ligue 1 title this term. But it is apparent that the Frenchman is keen on leaving Parc des Princes, having already rejected multiple advances from the club, to sign a new contract.
Mbappe’s expiring contract means he will have the luxury to move to Real Madrid on a free transfer. The report suggests he is set to receive a whopping signing premium of around €60-80 million while the player’s salary could stand at around €25 million per season.
Such a lucrative contract could ultimately lead to the exit of multiple existing stars in the Real Madrid camp, with the club already planning to offload Eden Hazard next summer.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.