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Real Madrid trio miss first training session of 2023 ahead of Copa del Rey clash

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Real Madrid will kickstart 2023 with a Copa del Rey encounter against Cacereno in the Round of 32 on Tuesday night away from home.

Ahead of the match, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe continued preparations as they held their first training session of the New Year at the Valdebebas earlier today.

And, according to an official update from the club, as many as three Real Madrid stars were not part of the group training sessions today under manager Carlo Ancelotti.

The three players in question are goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Dani Carvajal and striker Mariano Diaz.

As per the update from the Merengues, both Courtois and Carvajal did some work in the indoor facilities, although it is not clear as to whether it was due to any knock or injuries.

The duo is unlikely to start against Cacereno, irrespective of their fitness, as manager Ancelotti is expected to take the opportunity of the cup competition to rotate his troops.

So, Courtois, after his critical display against Real Valladolid, was always likely to make way for Andriy Lunin while Lucas Vazquez could be in line to get the nod at right-back.

Meanwhile, Mariano is said to have worked individually away from the group as he recovers from an ankle sprain he suffered earlier this week.

The injury meant that the forward, who is in the final year of his contract with Real Madrid, was unavailable for Friday’s match against Valladolid. And it remains to be seen if he recovers in time for the Copa del Rey against the RFEF Second Division outfit on Tuesday.

Eder Militao, who missed the last game, has returned to normal training, which is a boost for Real Madrid.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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