Real Madrid are just over 24 hours away from their LaLiga Santander fixture against Real Valladolid. The Blancos have been offered a glimmer of hope in their quest for Spanish glory as the seemingly unstoppable Atletico Madrid juggernaut were held for a 1-1 draw away at Levante. The Rojiblancos still hold a comfortable six-point lead over Real Madrid with a game in hand.
Ahead of their upcoming game, here, we take a look at some of the latest Real Madrid news.
Massive injury crisis ahead of LaLiga return
Real Madrid have had to deal with the absence of several big-name players in recent weeks. Their injury crisis has gotten progressively worse, and now, they have been able to name just 11 senior outfield players in their squad for their away game at Real Valladolid.
Star striker Karim Benzema became the latest star player to succumb to an injury, and he's out for the Valladolid game, and is a major doubt for their UEFA Champions League clash against Atalanta Bergamo. The French legend's injury is Real Madrid's 41st of the season. The squad consists of five La Fabrica products, including Miguel Gutierrez, Victor Chust, Sergio Arribas, Antonio Blanco, and striker Hugo Duro.
Zinedine Zidane responds to Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe rumours
Real Madrid have been strongly linked with the transfers of superstar forwards Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. The two strikers have been two of the most prolific players in Europe over the last few seasons and have been in fine form, as seen by their recent exploits in the UCL this week.
After revealing that he 'enjoys' watching both players like fans all over the world, Los Blancos head coach Zinedine Zidane was asked about the signings of these players and who he would prefer between the two. The French manager responded;
"We’ll see. They’re [Mbappe and Haaland] very good players, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi and Neymar Jr have been. They’re younger and they’re showing that they are players for the present and the future. I like to watch football and watch good players. Do I prefer one over the other? Well, today I’m not going to reply to that. Each person has their preferences. The important thing is for fans to enjoy good young players."
Haaland is believed to have a release clause worth €75m from 2022, while well-documented target Mbappe is reportedly set to cost €200m should they want to purchase him this year.
Theo Hernandez speaks out on his and Achraf Hakimi's Real Madrid exit
AC Milan star Theo Hernandez believes that leaving Real Madrid was the best decision for both himself and former teammate Achraf Hakimi. The two full-backs were bit-part players at the capital club and are now instrumental players for two of Serie A's most historic rivals AC Milan and Internazionale.
Ahead of the high-profile clash between the Rossoneri and the Nerazzurri this weekend, the former Real Madrid left-back told MARCA;
"We both played very little in Madrid and he best thing for Achraf Hakimi and me was leaving Real Madrid. If you are there and you do not play, you’re not happy and you don’t have the opportunities you want. We did the best we could and now we’re here in Milan."
"Achraf [Hakimi] is an incredible player, he has a lot of talent, speed, quality, we more or less resemble each other. I know him personally and we have spent a lot of time together, he is a good guy and a great friend. What will I say to him in the derby? I will say nothing, in the field we are enemies, but outside of it we are good friends."
Hernandez has established himself as one of the best left-backs in Europe since his move to AC Milan, while Hakimi has also had a superb start to life at Inter since his move from Real Madrid.