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Real Madrid want to keep 18-year-old prodigy amidst interest from many European clubs

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Photo courtesy: Real Madrid official website

Nico Paz has emerged as one of the most exciting young talents coming through the ranks at Real Madrid. At just 18 years of age, the young attacking midfielder is showing a lot of promise and has already been knocking on the first-team doors at the Bernabeu.

Naturally, a number of clubs across Europe have taken an interest in Nico Paz, according to ABC (h/t Madrid Xtra), but Los Blancos have no desire to let the teenager leave and wish to keep him at the club.

Nico Paz signed for the Real Madrid academy in 2016, arriving from Tenerife. He has enjoyed a rapid rise through the youth ranks at La Fabrica and has become a part of the club’s Juvenil A setup under the tutelage of former defender Alvaro Arbeloa.

The 18-year-old has played in five UEFA Youth League matches for the club’s Under-19 side and scored five goals.

The young Argentine has been called up to first-team training on several occasions already and is said to have made a huge impression on the senior players of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.

The 18-year-old was also called up to the matchday squad for the Merengues’ recent Copa del Rey encounter against Cacererno.

Nico Paz signed a new contract with Real Madrid not very long ago and the club have no immediate plans to sell him amidst rising interest in his services.

Recent reports suggested that Borussia Dortmund are among the clubs to have taken a liking to the teenager. The German giants are set to negotiate with Real Madrid over the transfer of Jude Bellingham when they might bring up the topic of Nico Paz.

However, as iterated earlier, Real Madrid want to keep hold of the 18-year-old prodigy and are unlikely to entertain any enquiries or offers for him at the moment.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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