Spanish champions Real Madrid are just hours away from their trip to the Estadio de la Ceramica to face an in-form Villarreal side. The Yellow Submarine are only two points off the top of the table and two points above Real Madrid, which is a deficit that the Blancos would hope to reduce with a win during their upcoming game.
The reigning champions have been hit with a massive injury crisis ahead of this fixture and their trip to Milan in midweek, with up to seven senior players excluded from their squad. Here, we take a look at some of the latest Real Madrid news ahead of the game.
Isco ready to depart from Real Madrid in January
Real Madrid star Isco
Real Madrid playmaker Isco is set to look for a move away from the club come January, as per Spanish outlet MARCA. The Spaniard has fallen down the pecking order at the capital club and has barely managed to feature for Zinedine Zidane’s side. The report states that the 28-year-old had a conversation with Isco and the Frenchman didn’t convince him to change his mind and will not stand in his way should he wish to depart from the club.
Isco’s current deal comes to an end in 2022, and Real Madrid would prefer to sell him now as opposed to allow him to depart on a free. While it is not clear as to where Isco will end up, Juventus and Manchester City have shown interest in signing him in the past, and could return for the Spanish international and get him for a cut-price fee.
Zinedine Zidane rubbishes Raphael Varane transfer speculation
Manchester United target Raphael Varane
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has rubbished claims that Raphael Varane could potentially depart from the club. The French defender, one of Real Madrid’s most pivotal players over the last few years, has been linked with a move away from the club with Manchester United said to be extremely keen on his services. However, Zidane labelled his star defender as an ‘untransferable’ player, saying that he isn’t going anywhere.
Addressing Varane’s future, Zidane expressed;
“It’s not just me [who wants to keep him]. He [Raphael Varane] is part of this club, we were very lucky to be able to bring him to Madrid.” He has a great career, he’s achieved a lot since he’s been here.”
Responding to the rumoured interest from United, Zidane continued,
“Of course, he is untransferable for the club, for the coach that I am, for people in general. That’s clear and unambiguous. Now we can’t stop people from talking. They’re not just talking about Varane, but about all the players, Real Madrid ones and others. But for Varane, my position is clear, and it’s the same as the club’s position.”
Manchester United are also said to be interested in RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano to bolster their defensive line.
Cristiano Ronaldo considering Real Madrid return
Ronaldo is expected to depart from Juventus soon
Reputed Spanish journalist Jose Felix Diaz via MARCA reports that Cristiano Ronaldo has ‘approached’ Real Madrid over a potential return to the club this summer. The Portuguese legend, whose contract with Juventus is set to come to an end after the 2021/22 campaign, is expected to depart from the club come summer as the Bianconeri look to cut their wage bill down amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
With Ronaldo seemingly on the lookout for a new club, the report claims that the 35-year-old has begun rebuilding his bridges with the 13-time European champions. However, there are two important factors at play here.
? – Real Madrid will be without Cristiano Ronaldo; who joined Juventus in the summer – the Portuguese forward was directly involved in exactly 50% of Real Madrid’s goals in the Champions League from 2009/10 to 2017/18 (105 goals, 27 assists). Expectation. pic.twitter.com/YQUgcgCvCk
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 19, 2018
The first is that Ronaldo himself could opt to remain in Italy as per the report, due to the tax system in the country. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is said to be on a salary of £540,000-a-week at the moment, and in Italy, the external income will be taxed at a rate of €100,000, which is the reason for many stars opting to move to Serie A.
The other factor is that Real Madrid are not said to be expecting a grand return for Ronaldo as they have also been impacted heavily by the ongoing financial crisis. They’ve already asked their squad to take a pay-cut and did not purchase any new players in the summer for the first time in 40 years.
Also read: Premier League manager responds to transfer speculation about Blancos star, injury crisis ahead of Inter clash, and more