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Real Madrid set to gift Cacereno players personalized shirts, Benzema-Modric most demanded players



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s first game of 2023 comes against the fourth-tier side of Spanish football as they travel to Estadio Principe Felipe to take on Cacereno in the round of 32 of Copa del Rey.

It is the first time the two teams will cross paths and given the potency of the event, Real Madrid have contacted their opponent to give the whole team and coaching staff personalized shirts as gifts. And as journalist Rodra quotes, almost everyone wants the shirts of midfielder Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.

Interestingly enough, neither Modric nor Benzema have been included in the travelling squad for the game. In fact, not only the aforementioned, but as many as six other first-team players will be absent from the fixture.

This includes the likes of Vinicius Jr, Ferland Mendy, Toni Kroos, Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal and Mariano Diaz. 

For Vinicius, in particular, it is going to be his first break of the season after having participated in each of Madrid’s 21 games played across all competitions. Furthermore, the absence of Alaba, Mendy, Modric, Kroos and Benzema is down to the fact Carlo Ancelotti is prioritizing La Liga.

The only players absent due to injuries are Mariano Diaz, Thibaut Courtois and Dani Carvajal. Diaz, 29, is out due to an ankle problem while Courtois and Carvajal have not travelled due to slight discomfort.

The two did attend the gym session with the rest of the team before departure, but given the line of fixture congestion the team is set to face in January, Ancelotti has decided to give the duo further time to recover.

In turn, a certain Lucas Canizares has been picked in place of Courtois while Sergio Arribas, the top scorer for Real Madrid Castilla, has been called up as well. On the other hand, Nico Paz and Alvaro Rodriguez will be travelling too.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid have made Man City defensive target a top priority for the summer



Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Although Antonio Rudiger has had success since joining Real Madrid last summer, the club are in need of more depth and players that can form the backbone of the defensive unit in the years to come.

As part of their plans, Real Madrid are prioritising a move for Josko Gvardiol in the coming summer, reports 90 Min.

The outlet suggests Gvardiol will be one of the most wanted prospects in the market, with both Real Madrid and Manchester City eyeing a move for the Croatian international come the end of the season.

Formerly of Dinamo Zagreb, Gvardiol has enjoyed immense success since his move to the Bundesliga in 2021. He has impressed onlookers with his skill, organisation and discipline, which, coupled with his versatility, make him an appealing target for any European giant.

Gvardiol was also one of the top performers at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, helping Croatia finish third in the competition. His performances have not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid among the clubs who have been keeping an eye on the defender for a while now.

However, signing Gvardiol will be a tricky task for Los Blancos. The player still has a long-term contract at Leipzig and could cost up to €85 million, as reported by 90 Min. Not to mention, the competition from Man City could be significant.

Real Madrid have no shortage of alternatives, though, with the club notably closely monitoring Portuguese defensive whizkid Antonio Silva, among others. So it will be interesting to see how the Spanish giants approach the market in this coming summer.

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