The 'Varane case', Odegaard ... Ancelotti starts strong

The second project in Madrid of the Italian coach starts, who has to face many delicate issues as soon as he starts in the position.


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 the players will begin to appear at the facilities for the traditional analysis and weigh-in. 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). The first training session will be at 6:00 p.m.

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 who is from the house, as was the wish of the coach (he had Zidane himself and Hierro in its 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 names on his staff. First, that of Pintus, a 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, a goalkeeper coach who was also in the first stage of Zidane and who returns after passing through Real Sociedad.

But above all Ancelotti will take advantage of these first days of work to start solving 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 that come out on loan (such as Brahim, who has almost done it with Milan or Kubo), and others that may 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 transferred again (in that case, he would prefer to go out with a sale or, obviously, stay and be important). This meeting will have to wait until after the games, but not Odegaard's, 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.

The other hot topic is the renovation of Varane. 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 on the downside (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 leave again on loan.

Ancelotti is delighted with the squad at his disposal and made this 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 the fact that he can put the icing on the Mbappé signing, 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.

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