The ‘Varane Case’, Odegaard … Ancelotti Starts Strong

Ancelotti returns to take the controls of Real Madrid. The Italian’s 2.0 project starts this Monday in Valdebebas. Starting at 8:30 in the morning, players will begin to appear at the facilities for traditional weighing and analysis. They will do it in a staggered way to prevent that, after the holidays, there may be an unforeseen positive for coronavirus that drags the others. The coach will only be able to count on 13 of the 29 players on the squad. Eight (Alaba, Bale, Modric, Benzema, Varane, Kroos, Courtois and Hazard) went to the Eurocup, four to the America’s Cup (Valverde, Vinicius, Militao and Casemiro) and another four will be at the Tokyo Olympics (Kubo, Ceballos, Asensio and Vallejo). At 6:00 p.m. will be the first training session.

It is already certain that Ancelotti will have his son Davide as second coach (repeating the experience at Napoli and Everton), and the club has not yet found a third from home, as was the wish of the coach (he had Zidane himself and Hierro in his first stage). Raúl prefers to remain at Castilla and Arbeloa must still wait for the UEFA Pro title. But in return there will be two important proper names on your staff. First that of Pintus, physical trainer who was with Zidane in the first stage of the Frenchman and who is highly trusted by Florentino Pérez (his presence is a commitment of the president) and Llopis, goalkeeping coach who was also in the first stage of Zidane and who returns after his time at Real Sociedad.

But above all Ancelotti will take advantage of these first days of work to begin to solve the hottest issues on the table. The consensus that he has reached in his previous meetings with Madrid is that you have to give between five and seven casualties to reduce the staff to 22 or 24 troops (although 25 chips are allowed). There will be some who come out on loan (such as Brahim, who has almost done it with Milan or Kubo), and others likely to be sold (for the club it is also a priority to make cash).

In this sense, in Ancelotti’s agenda there are already scheduled meetings with players such as Isco, Odegaard and Ceballos, who are the most sensitive cases. The man from Malaga still has no offers on the table and ends his contract in 2022. He had planned to leave if the possibility arose, but the arrival of Ancelotti has changed his situation. Everything is subject to that pending conversation. The same happens with Ceballos, although the Utrera does not want to be loaned again (In that case, I would rather go out with a sale or obviously stick around and be important.) This meeting will have to wait until after the games, but not the Odegaard, which will also be, like Isco’s, in the next few hours. The Norwegian does not want to go through the ostracism to which Zidane condemned him last season.

Photo of Odegaard

The other hot topic is the Varane renovation. The coach wants to go hand in hand with the club in all the decisions made. In this case, it is the player who is waiting for a gesture from him that opens the door to stay, for which Madrid would have to make a small effort to renew it. United has already begun to negotiate with Madrid for the world champion defender, but it has clearly done so (it does not put more than 45 million euros). If he finally leaves, Vallejo will complete the quota of centrals along with Alaba, Militao and Nacho. If he stays, Vallejo will go out again on loan.

Ancelotti is delighted with the squad at his disposal and made it known to Florentino Pérez in the brief meeting between the two on the day of his presentation. There is, in his opinion, a good combination of youth and experience, and beyond being able to put the icing on the signing of Mbappé, the coach knows that there is very good raw material in the quarry. In his first stage, he released players who were later very important such as Morata or Nacho. Now he must be the one who chooses those that are usable. From the known list (Arribas, Chust, Blanco, Miguel Gutiérrez, Marvin, Gila …) there will be a sale if he believes that they will not have opportunities with the first team. The idea, in all cases, is that (unless there are unforeseen sales that leave good money) those who do not leave continue to have a record of Castilla.