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Rival watch: Barcelona defender ruled out of El Clasico against Real Madrid



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Arch-rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona will clash against each other in La Liga next month at the Santiago Bernabeu.

And ahead of the pivotal encounter, Barcelona have been dealt with injury setbacks in the ongoing international break. Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay were forced to leave the Netherlands’ camp due to injuries, while Uruguay defender Ronald Araujo came off the pitch against Iran.

Another name on the list is Jules Kounde, who sustained an injury against Austria in a Nations League clash on Thursday. And as per a report by AS, the Frenchman will be out of action for four to five weeks, meaning he is all set to miss the El Clasico against Real Madrid on October 16th.

Kounde suffered a thigh injury and returned to Barcelona last evening before undergoing examinations at the club’s training facilities earlier today. And the report states that the French defender is set to miss the vital clash against Real Madrid.

It has been suggested that further tests will take place on Monday to provide a more accurate diagnosis of the former Sevilla defender’s latest fitness woe.

This development comes as a major boost to Real Madrid ahead of their much-anticipated encounter against Barça on October 16. With the two clubs neck-to-neck in the La Liga title race, Kounde’s absence gives an advantage to Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Indeed, the 23-year-old’s contributions at right-back have proven key so far for Barcelona, even though he was signed as a centre-half.

Considering Hector Bellerin and Sergi Roberto are not as reliable from a defensive standpoint, the former Sevilla will be a big miss in the match against Real Madrid, as well as the clashes against the likes of Inter Milan and Celta Vigo.

Depay will also miss the Clasico next month, although de Jong is expected to recover in time for the encounter. Doubts remain over Araujo’s involvement in the high-profile encounter, although the Uruguayan is said to be willing to push himself to face Real Madrid.

Los Blancos are currently ahead of Barcelona in the title race by two points, having won all of their league matches so far this season. They will hope to stretch that advantage when the two clubs collide next month.

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Real Madrid News

Nacho set to stay at Real Madrid, will be new club captain – report



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Madrid have finally received some good news as MARCA confirms that Nacho has finally made his decision about his future, and is set to continue at the club for the foreseeable future.

His contract expires in the summer, and Real Madrid had tabled an extension for the player, which was not accepted by the Spaniard at the time. Now, however, he has decided to reject offers from Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and AC Milan.

Nacho will sign a one year extension, with the option to extend for another year if both parties reach an agreement.

His continuity also means that he will be the new club captain for the 2023/24 season, since Karim Benzema is leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer. Luka Modric will be second captain, followed by Daniel Carvajal and Toni Kroos.

Carlo Ancelotti has also spoken to the player, confirming that they trust him for next season in the team, which has gone a long way in helping convince the player.

The Italian gaffer also spoke about the Spanish defender’s contract situation after the game against Athletic Club yesterday, saying:

“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it.” 

While a centre-back by trade, Nacho has played across the defence for Madrid continuously, including putting shifts at left-back, right-back, and even centre-back.

His departure would have probably pushed Madrid to sign another defender, especially since they are considering selling Ferland Mendy if a good offer arrives.

Regardless of that, though, Madrid are moving to sign Alphonso Davies, and have already made initial contacts with the player. Bayern Munich have not rejected their advances.

Further, the los blancos management have already met with Davies’ entourage twice, cementing their interest in the Canadian ace.

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