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Real Madrid star wants to renew contract, but coaching staff have major doubts

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Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Andriy Lunin got an opportunity to make a rare start for Real Madrid against Girona last night. The Ukrainian international had to step into the lineup after first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois did not make the trip to Catalonia because of gastroenteritis.

But the game ended on a disastrous note for Lunin as he let in four goals, all scored by Valentin Castellanos.

While the entire team was not at the level needed, the goalkeeper was struggling especially. Having faced five shots, Lunin conceded four goals, two of which he could have done better against and stopped.

Following last night’s events, Mario Cortegana of The Athletic has come out with an extensive report on Lunin and how the 24-year-old is perceived by Real Madrid’s coaching staff.

As per the report, the club’s coaching staff have always had doubts about Lunin and yesterday night’s performance did not come as a surprise to them.

It is claimed that the coaches are worried that key points that have been communicated to the Ukrainian international have not been taken on board.

The general feeling is that he has failed to improve on certain aspects of his game despite being pointed out as areas of weakness, such as his distribution and game management.

Lunin’s current contract with Real Madrid expires next year and the goalkeeper is understood to be keen on renewing with the club. The club board also shares similar thoughts but the coaching staff continue to have doubts about the reserve goalkeeper.

The report states that Lunin, who is well-liked in the dressing room, is seen as someone who is fixed in his own ways and not entirely open to taking new ideas on board.

The goalkeeper, for his part, is understood to acknowledge some of his shortcomings but believes that he needs more playing time in order to make improvements to his game.

It remains to be seen as to how Real Madrid decide to proceed on this matter as they risk losing Lunin for no fee next year if he is not renewed.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid midfielder set for a change in roles heading into the new season

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(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Federico Valverde, the dynamic midfielder for Real Madrid, is once again on the cusp of adapting to a new role under the guidance of coach Carlo Ancelotti, reports Mario Calderon for Mundo Deportivo

Valverde’s remarkable versatility has been a key asset for Real Madrid, allowing him to excel in various positions on the field. This adaptability has been crucial for the team, and it seems another transformation is on the horizon for the 25-year-old Uruguayan.

The team chances and so does Valverde

His potential shift in role comes amid changes within the team, notably the reassignment of the number ‘8’ shirt to Toni Kroos. 

The German midfielder’s responsibility for constructing the game will likely be shared among several players to ensure a seamless transition.

Here, Valverde’s ability to quickly grasp new concepts will be a significant advantage for both him and Ancelotti. Even during the current period, with many players still absent, Ancelotti is already strategizing on how to best integrate everyone into the team dynamics without compromising performance.

Federico Valverde might play a different role at Real Madrid next season. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Marcelo Bielsa must be credited

Valverde’s recent experiences with the Uruguayan national team in the Copa America under coach Marcelo Bielsa have further honed his skills. 

Bielsa entrusted Valverde with the captain’s armband and deployed him in a deeper role, where he was responsible for initiating plays from the back alongside his teammate, PSG’s young pivot, Manuel Ugarte. 

This experience has enriched Valverde’s understanding of the game, adding another layer to his already impressive skill set.

As the new season approaches, Valverde will need to re-establish himself in whatever role Ancelotti deems fit—be it as a winger, a pivot, or even a full-back, a position he has previously played under former coach Zinedine Zidane. 

Regardless of where he is positioned, Valverde’s importance to the team is undeniable. His versatility, coupled with his ability to adapt quickly, makes him a pivotal player for Real Madrid’s upcoming campaign.

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