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Danilo: Real Madrid's options for replacing Man City new boy

The Brazilian's transfer to the Premier League means Dani Carvajal is currently the only recognised right-back in the Real first-team squad.


Danilo's summer move to Manchester City, which was confirmed on Sunday morning, leaves Dani Carvajal as the only out-and-out right-back in the Real Madrid squad.

Zinedine Zidane's plan for 2017/18 was to have two players for each position and continue the rotation policy that proved so successful last term, but without Danilo at his disposal, the Frenchman will have to seek out alternative cover for Carvajal when necessary.

How Zidane could fill the gap left by Danilo:

Manage with Nacho and Theo

Zidane's first, and most simple, option is to draft in centre-half Nacho Fernández or left-back Theo Hernández when he needs to give Carvajal a rest. Neither of the two is a recognised right-back, but both have fulfilled the role well when asked to.

The risk this move poses is that the first-team squad would more easily be left struggling for defensive numbers were there to be a heavy spate of absences at the back - such as that which occurred last season.

Winger Lucas Vázquez could also feature at full-back in exceptional cases.

Achraf (centre) challenges first-choice right-back Carvajal in pre-season training in the US.
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Achraf (centre) challenges first-choice right-back Carvajal in pre-season training in the US.JAVIER GANDULDIARIO AS

Promote Achraf to the first team

Castilla man Achraf Hakimi is the second major alternative open to Zidane. The Moroccan international is a player 'Zizou' knows well, having worked with him during his time as boss of Real's 'B' team.

The 18-year-old was included on Los Blancos' US tour and is a prospect who is very highly thought of within the club, having made a good impression in first-team friendly appearances in the States last summer.

A decision is to be made at the end of pre-season over whether to promote him to the seniors, send him out on loan or keep him in the Castilla squad.

Turn to the transfer market

Real are not considering a foray into the market to fill the void left by Danilo - unless an irresistible opportunity appears. Reports on Spanish radio have suggested that Los Merengues are keen on Real Sociedad youngster Álvaro Odriozola, but the Basque club have slapped a 40m-euro buy-out figure on the 21-year-old.

Forking out a large sum for an understudy to Carvajal, particularly with in-house solution Achraf knocking hard on the door, does not appear to be a compelling option. Monaco's Djibril Sidibé and and Paris Saint-Germain's Presnel Kimpembé have also been linked, but would likewise command sizeable transfer fees.