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Real Madrid want teenage prodigy to prove himself with Castilla before opening first-team doors

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Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

The Champions League clash against Celtic brought with it a big blow for Carlo Ancelotti in the form of Karim Benzema’s injury. The Frenchman is expected to be out for at least three games, bringing up the question – who will replace him?

Prima facie, it would appear that Eden Hazard is Ancelotti’s first-choice backup for Benzema. However, the Belgian is not a centre-forward and cannot be a like-for-like replacement. Given the situation, Iker Bravo would appear to be the best natural alternative.

According to reports from MARCA, Los Blancos are clear with their plan with Bravo. The club will first wait for him to settle with the Castilla team and show his qualities. The door to the first team will only open if he impresses. At the moment, Ancelotti will not risk excessively exposing the youngster.

Real Madrid signed the 17-year-old from Bayer Leverkusen in August on a season-long loan deal. There is, however, a purchase clause of €6 million in the agreement.

He is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia and spent over a decade there before moving to Germany last year. Several clubs including Atletico Madrid were interested in his signing this summer, but Real Madrid beat their competition to win the race.

Bravo has made only one appearance for Real Madrid Castilla so far, coming on for the final 18 minutes against Racing Ferrol.

While he is yet to open his account in Spain, there is optimism over his quality and the management are convinced that he can replace Benzema in the long term. For now, though, he must make an impression under Raul Gonzalez before he can get a look-in into the senior setup.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid 23-year-old striker close to finalising a move to Real Valladolid – report

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Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

After two years on loan at Getafe, former Real Madrid striker Juanmi Latasa has returned to the Spanish capital.

His performances, after all, were not enough to coerce his foster club to push for a permanent transfer.

The 23-year-old striker made 32 appearances for Getafe last season, including 15 starts. However, he only had two goals to show for his regular participation and it is safe to label his time at the club as a disappointment.

Now back in Madrid, Latasa is unlikely to get a chance to make a mark at the club. All signs point to a departure in the coming days.

The overwhelming favorite

As revealed in a recent report by Jorge C Picon, several first-division teams in Spain have reported interest in the young striker. Real Valladolid however, are the overwhelming favourites.

The La Liga side are looking for a striker with a good physical presence, height, a strong aerial presence and a knack for goal.

Latasa (L) set to leave Real Madrid. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Latasa ticks all the boxes they demand and negotiations between the two clubs are expected to progress in the coming days.

Latasa’s sale, at this point, is thus taken for granted. Leganes and Espanyol are some of the other clubs interested in his services.

No scope in Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti, over the years, has not carved out a reputation as one who trusts academy stars heavily. In his defence, however, he has always had superior options available.

Heading into next season, Los Blancos have a packed forward department including Kylian Mbape, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes and Endrick.

Considering that the well-established Joselu himself saw no scope at the club next season, it is safe to say that Latasa understands his situation.

From Real Madrid’s perspective, it remains to be seen if they maintain any leverage on his future.

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