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Rival Watch: Injury woes mount for Barcelona as defender set to miss El Clasico



Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s recent draw to CA Osasuna saw them surrender the top spot in La Liga to arch-rivals FC Barcelona. However, the reigning Spanish champions will have the time to turn things around as they are set to meet Barça in less than a fortnight, in the revered El Clasico.

Barcelona are heading into the game with a few long-term injuries including Ronald Araujo and Memphis Depay. The likes of Hector Bellerin, Jules Kounde and Frenkie de Jong are also on their list of absentees.

And in the aftermath of their recent Champions League defeat to Inter Milan, it appears the Catalans have another player adding to their lost list, in the form of Andreas Christensen.

According to a report from Diario AS, the Danish international had left Giuseppe Meazza with a limp on his left ankle. It was later revealed that the player had suffered a sprain in the external ligament.

Initial reports suggest the defender has sprained his ankle, which could keep him out for a month. But depending on the injury of the ligament, there is a possibility the defender could miss out on the World Cup as well. Tests are set to be carried out on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury.

In either case, Christensen will be ruled out for the upcoming El Clasico, leaving Xavi Hernandez without four of his trusted defensive options.

In fact, Barça may have Eric Garcia and Gerard Pique as the only two options at centre-back, when they take on Real Madrid later this month. Jules Kounde is expected to be fit in time for the game, but his involvement is still under doubt a week and a half ahead of the game.

It should serve as a major boost for Real Madrid, who have recently welcomed back Karim Benzema to the pitch. The Frenchman should provide the added attacking firepower required to help Los Blancos brush aside a depleted Barcelona defence, in this much-awaited Clasico.

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Real Madrid News

Atletico Madrid ‘approach’ Real Madrid, Arsenal midfield target over summer move



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

According to AS, Atletico Madrid have made the first approach for Celta Vigo midfielder Gabri Veiga, who has also been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid and Arsenal.

The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the most exciting young prospects in Spanish football this season, having already netted nine goals in La Liga.

It has alerted a series of top-level clubs, with the likes of Real Madrid, Arsenal, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid all being linked with the youngster, who has a €40 million release clause in his contract with Celta.

Real Madrid are in the market for midfield reinforcements and have identified Jude Bellingham as their top target, but Veiga is also said to be on the agenda at the Santiago Bernabeu

However, recently, the Galician club’s president confirmed that there had been contact from clubs in England, but stated that Real Madrid had made no approach.

On top of that, a report from MARCA quoted a club source saying that they were not contemplating signing the 20-year-old.

Amidst this, it has now emerged that Atletico Madrid have made an approach towards signing Veiga from Celta Vigo in the summer transfer window.

The Rojiblancos are also in the market for new midfielders amid question marks over the futures of Saul Niguez and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

While Diego Simeone’s side have taken a first step, the report indicates that Veiga, in case of the absence of interest from Real Madrid, would prefer to join Arsenal.

So, the Colchoneros will need to put in efforts to convince the 20-year-old to choose them over a move to the Premier League club come summer if they are serious about adding the talented youngster to their roster for next season.

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