When one thinks of strikers at Real Madrid, Karim Benzema is the only name that comes to mind. Not only is that because of his insane goalscoring form but also because he has, for a major part of the season, been the only striker played by Carlo Ancelotti.
In theory, two players compete with the Frenchman for a starting spot in the team: Luka Jovic and Mariano. However, both in terms of form and fitness, the duo have struggled to make an impact under Ancelotti.
The latter, in fact, finds himself injured once again. Mariano played just three minutes in the game against Sevilla and is now ruled out for the clash against Osasuna, as was confirmed by the manager yesterday.
“Casemiro, Mariano, and Jovic suffered physical problems yesterday, and will not play tomorrow. They will be back for the Manchester City game,” he said.
Luka Jovic is ruled out through injury too, but he is in the final stages of his recovery. Nevertheless, Benzema is the only available striker for the manager at the moment.
Mariano has only appeared in eight games for Los Blancos, amassing a total of 228 minutes. However, he has regularly struggled with fitness, missing 18 games through injury.
He has no goals and one assist in La Liga this season. The club are looking to ship him away in the summer transfer window, but the operation is difficult considering that Mariano wants to stay and prove his worth to the manager.
Nevertheless, the Dominican Republic international will look for a way out, given that Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland could join in the summer. With his minutes already at an all-time low, an exit seems inevitable.
Ancelotti ‘liked’ €70 million Portuguese full-back offered to Real Madrid in January
Joao Cancelo has, for a long time, been considered one of the best full-backs in the world of football. What makes the Portuguese international special is not just his ability to contribute flawlessly at both ends of the field but also the fact that he can recreate his magic on both flanks.
For a player of such quality to depart Manchester City unsurprisingly broke the internet. Cancelo signed for Bayern Munich on a six-month loan in January with a whopping €70 million purchase clause included in the paperwork.
According to reports from AS, the player preferred a move to Spain. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona were offered Cancelo’s services, and it was only after both La Liga giants rejected it that Bayern Munich got the chance to sign him.
For the Catalans, the player’s salary was the hurdle preventing his arrival. In Real Madrid’s case, however, it was the board’s reluctance to change the squad midway through the season.
For a long time now, Real Madrid have maintained a low profile in winter transfer windows. Carlo Ancelotti liked the full-back’s profile and saw him as a good fit, but the management would not hear of it.
Real Madrid have had a torrid time at the full-back position in recent weeks, indicating that the squad was in urgent need of new signings.
For almost a month, Ancelotti has been without a right-back after both Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal suffered injuries. Just as the latter recovered, Ferland Mendy hobbled off the field and could miss six weeks of action.
Cancelo’s signing would have thus been the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone. Nevertheless, the management have their faith in the young Vinicius Tobias and it remains to be seen if their gamble pays off.