Real Madrid News
Real Madrid youngster waiting for a contract offer, feels ready to step up – report
Nacho Fernandez will go down as one of Real Madrid’s best-ever home-grown defensive talents. The veteran celebrated his 33rd birthday last month and has seen an improved role under Carlo Ancelotti in recent weeks after a rough start to the season.
His future at the club, however, is uncertain. The centre-back has a proposal from the Merengues to extend his deal by a further season but is said to be unsure about accepting it. There is thus a good chance that Nacho departs Santiago Bernabeu at the end of his contract in June.
According to reports from ABC (h/t Madrid Xtra), the academy graduate’s departure could pave the way for another one of Real Madrid’s Castilla stars to enter the first-team dynamics. The name in the discussion is Rafa Marin.
The youngster is still waiting for an offer from Real Madrid to extend his deal, given that only eighteen months remaining on it. He feels he is ready to play with the senior team and hopes for a promotion along with his new contract.
Nacho’s departure, thus, could help him get his way if Ancelotti deems him fit to play at the highest level.
The 20-year-old is very highly rated in the Spanish capital and is seen as a special talent. He has already made 22 appearances for the Castilla outfit this season in the league and has scored two goals in addition to leading the defence. Furthermore, he is already capped by the U-18 Spanish outfit.
Chelsea are said to be interested in the player’s signature, and it is clear that clubs in Europe are attentive to his situation. The ball is thus now in Real Madrid’s court, for the youngster could look to leave next season for a top club if not given a chance to impress soon.
Real Madrid News
Rival watch: Barcelona midfielder essentially ruled out of Real Madrid clash
In what could be a real deal breaker for Real Madrid ahead of their Copa del Rey semi-final second leg clash against Barcelona, it has been revealed that as many as three Barça will be absent from the game while another key player remains a major doubt.
The list includes the likes of Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen. The trio is certain to miss the game through respective injuries while a certain Frenkie de Jong is more or less ruled out, as per Javi Miguel.
It must be remembered that Barcelona are heading into the second leg with a 1-0 advantage. But the absence of the aforementioned players means Madrid can work on exploiting the frailties.
Despite the absence of such big names, Barcelona did pretty well against Elche in their previous outing, coming out 4-0 victorious, with the goals coming from Robert Lewandowski, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres.
With options lacking in midfield, Xavi decided to use the likes of Sergi Roberto and Eric Garcia along with Gavi in the heart of the lineup. In any way, they do have Sergio Busquets and Franck Kessie as backups if needed.
The defence, on the other hand, was perfectly guarded by Jordi Alba, Marcos Alonso, Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde.
One can expect Xavi to once again interchange Araujo with Kounde on the right since the Uruguayan has been rather successful in minimizing the threat of Vinicius Jr.
As far as Madrid are concerned, they are sweating over the fitness of three key defenders, namely, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho, and Ferland Mendy. Between these three, the Frenchman is out for about a month while Rudiger and Nacho are expected to be back before the Clasico.
If there are no casualties against Real Valladolid, Madrid will have a perfect midfield and attack, with only Mariano Diaz missing.