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Real Madrid very attentive to €81 million centre-forward’s situation

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Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Just when it seemed that Real Madrid desperately needed a new striker to cover for Karim Benzema, the Frenchman returned to his finest form. He now has seven goals in his last four games and is leading his side from the front.

Yet, it is difficult to turn a blind eye to the struggles Real Madrid have faced in his absence this season. Moreover, at 35 years of age, he does not have long left in his boots.

According to reports from AS, Real Madrid are very attentive to Dusan Vlahovic’s situation and want to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu. However, Juventus are very happy with the player and do not contemplate his sale at the moment.

“We have no doubts about Dusan as a crucial player for our present and future, despite the links and stories that are being published. We see how hard he works every day in training, that’s why we have confidence in him,” the Bianconeri director Francesco Calvo said bluntly when asked about Vlahovic’s future, thus closing the door to an exit.

Real Madrid eventually wish to replace Benzema with either Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe. Both stars, however, will not be available at least until the summer of 2024, and Vlahovic was seen as an optimal stand-in.

While the Italian club have closed the door with their statement, one knows the difficult financial situation Juventus are currently in.

Earlier this season, the Old Lady faced a 15-point penalty for their transfer dealing and inbuilt money laundering. Come June, they could be under pressure to sell.

The Serbian international, who joined Juventus in January last year in a deal worth €81 million, has scored eight goals and provided two assists in his 20 Serie A appearances this season. Further, he also has two goals and an assist to show in his five UEFA Europa League games so far.

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Matches

Camavinga, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could line up against Barcelona

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be aiming to get a step closer to lifting the La Liga title when they face off against FC Barcelona later tonight at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid are currently seated atop the league table, eight points clear of Barça in second place. And another win tonight would stretch the lead to 11 points, all but guaranteeing their coronation as Spanish champions.

It will not be easy with Barcelona motivated after their defeat against PSG in the UEFA Champions League while fatigue could also be a factor after Los Blancos toiled it out for 120 minutes against Man City earlier this week.

Heading into the game, Real Madrid have one fitness concern as Ferland Mendy did not train on Saturday due to some overload in his left leg, although he was included in the squad list by Carlo Ancelotti.

Thibaut Courtois and David Alaba are the only injury-enforced absentees for the league leaders and here’s how Real Madrid could line up tonight against Xavi Hernandez’s side.

Starters

Fresh off his penalty shootout heroics against Manchester City, Andriy Lunin will guard Real Madrid’s goal again and hope to help his team to another crucial victory.

Antonio Rudiger has been in brilliant form this season and is a guaranteed starter at the heart of the Merengues’ defence. The German international should pair up with club captain Nacho Fernandez to stop Robert Lewandowski & co.

Even though there has been some chatter about Lucas Vazquez starting at right-back, Dani Carvajal is expected to get the nod as usual.

Mendy’s possible absence, however, could pave the way for Eduardo Camavinga to start at left-back for Real Madrid, with Ancelotti likely to trust the French midfielder in a makeshift role over Fran Garcia.

Camavinga could fill in at left-back. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouameni is back after missing the Manchester City game through suspension and will slot in as the defensive midfielder against Barcelona.

Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos will take up the two interior midfield positions for Real Madrid while Jude Bellingham will operate as the lone attacking midfielder.

However, it will not be a surprise to see Real Madrid transition into a 4-4-2 with Valverde and Bellingham moving out wide on the right and left flanks, respectively.

Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Jr. are the undisputed starters up top in attack, with the former likely to operate from the left after his recent success while the latter will play slightly more centrally.

Real Madrid Predicted Lineup: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Valverde, Kroos, Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo.

Substitutes

Brahim Diaz and Luka Modric are players that Carlo Ancelotti counts on from the bench for every game and that will not change tonight against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Joselu is also an option that Ancelotti could turn to if he wished to change things up in the attacking unit.

Eder Militao could also get some minutes, depending on the game situation, as Ancelotti hopes to get the Brazilian into match-rhythm in time to face Bayern Munich.

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