Reports over the past several weeks suggested that Real Madrid were expecting backup goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to leave the club this summer and were even looking at possible replacements for the 24-year-old Ukrainian.
Lunin has struggled for game-time at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Thibaut Courtois being the undisputed starter between the sticks. As such, speculations over his future had been doing the rounds, with some media outlets in Spain suggesting that a more senior backup goalkeeper was sought.
However, according to a fresh report from Jorge C Picon, Real Madrid are unlikely to sign a new backup goalkeeper this summer despite the request of manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The report suggests that the Merengues’ manager does not trust Lunin and wishes to replace him as Courtois’ understudy at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In fact, he had informed the club’s recruitment chief, Juni Calafat, regarding the same as early as March this year. Ancelotti felt that despite Lunin’s exemplary attitude and behaviour, his progression was not taking place as expected.
In fact, the club even started looking at possible replacements, including Getafe’s David Soria more out of respect for Ancelotti’s request rather than seeing it as a necessity.
Now though, Real Madrid are happy with Lunin and are not planning to offload him nor are there any ideas to replace him at this moment.
The player, for his part, is understood to be comfortable at the Santiago Bernabeu and wishes to stay put. All signs point towards Lunin rejoining the pre-season training which is scheduled to begin from July 10.
With his contract expiring next year though, there is no certainty that Lunin would remain at Real Madrid beyond 2024.
Real Madrid veteran believes he is the solution to team’s poor performances
Despite the enormous competition at hand, Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos is determined to show manager Carlo Ancelotti that the solution to most of the team’s problems is him reports Spanish publication AS.
The veteran midfielder, who has been playing second-fiddle for most part of the ongoing season, came off the bench against Getafe in La Liga and Union Berlin in the UEFA Champions League and as it turns out, he went on to play a crucial role in both wins.
Numbers speak volume
Despite starting just two of the six games Madrid have played this season, Kroos sits fourth in the list of most passes for the team (317).
The veteran German is only surpassed by the likes of David Alaba (398), Aurelien Tchouameni (379), and Antonio Rudiger (353), who have required an additional 263, 173, and 213 minutes respectively to do so.
Above all, he has played second most passes in the final third (55) despite the limited time, with only Tchouameni (56) ahead of him.
And so, Kroos is resolute in his mission to demonstrate to Ancelotti that he is the key to resolving several of Madrid’s primary issues at the beginning of the season, including the deficiency in creativity, the need for vision between the lines, and the quest for midfield dominance.
Kroos continues to drop 10/10s
Kroos has illustrated in recent matches that he deserves to be more than just a squad player. In games against Getafe and Union Berlin, he made impactful appearances during the second half when the team was facing adversity, significantly influencing their ultimate triumph.
With him on the field, Real Madrid unmistakably shift into an aggressive mode, relentlessly pursuing victory.
Similarly, in his two starts at the beginning, against Almeria and Real Sociedad, he demonstrated that his distribution prowess is simply unmatched.
It is believed that while Ancelotti acknowledges the arsenal of tools available to him, as a precaution, Kroos readies a gift for him before each match. A gift of unquestionable performance.