Opening LaLiga kick-off times confirmed
For Real Madrid, the 2018/19 LaLiga season will get underway on Sunday 19 August. The Week 1 meeting with Getafe at the Bernabéu kicks off at 22:15 hours local time and Lopetegui's side have also been handed the late kick-off Sunday slot for the following weekend's away game at Girona which commences at the same time (22:15 CEST) on 26 August.
Truth in Quintero rumours
Rodrigo Riep, who represents Colombia international Juan Quintero, confirmed to Argentine radio that Real Madrid seriously considering the player this summer: "It's true, Madrid were interested but nothing was made official", the agent explained. Quintero, who Madrid had in mind as a possible replacement for unsettled Mateo Kovacic, looks set to stay at River Plate after the club announced their would be triggering the first option clause in the loan contract they signed with Porto in 2013.
Why Alisson chose Liverpool over Real Madrid
Brazilian daily Globoesporte published a report citing the three principal reasons why goalkeeper Alisson Becker plumped for a move to Liverpool rather than the club which beat them in last year's Champions League final. Anfield was more appealing because Madrid's 40 million euro offer was deemed too low, Andriy Lunin's arrival was an additional factor but the clincher was Reds manager Jürgen Klopp who kept insisting that Alisson was the man he wants as the last line of defence and the missing link which completes the jigsaw in his XI.
Courtois joined Chelsea seven years ago
While the search for a replacement continues, Chelsea marked the seventh anniversary of Thibaut Courtois' arrival by putting together a video compilations of the keeper's top five saves yesterday. Courtois arrived at Stamford Bridge in July 2011 but spent his first three seasons on loan at Atlético de Madrid.The Belgian, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is high on Real Madrid's list of priorities and a deal could be struck over the next few days.
In Costa Rica meanwhile, La Nación claim that Madrid have put the offer of a new contract on the table for Keylor Navas. The 31-year-old, who has no shortage of admirers elsewhere in Europe, has two years to run on his current contract and La Nación claim Madrid are proposing a two-year extension. Keylor's idea is to stay in Madrid where he is happy - he is prepared to win his place even if Courtois arrives but whether Lopetegui will want two top keepers jostling for a regular place in his starting line-up is another matter...
Kroos, Lucas Vázquez, Nacho and Asensio join up with the squad
Julen Lopetegui and his coaching staff had a larger group to work with in Valdebebas this morning. Arriving for duty for the 10am session were three of Madrid's six international players - Lucas Vázquez, Nacho and Asensio who were straight back into the groove after a short holiday - as was Toni Kroos, who returns after enjoying a few week's rest following his participation at the World Cup. A total of 18 players formed the squad who were put through their drills in today's workout - the first of two training sessions programmed for today.
Carvajal, Ramos, Isco and Keylor Navas have been on holidaying in the United States and will rejoin the squad when the Madrid party arrives tomorrow. Marcelo and Casemiro are expected to join the squad on the 3rd or 4th and will miss the opening game of the pre-season against Manchester United. Finally, the players who were involved in the World Cup final - Varane, Modric and Kovacic will start the pre-season on 11-12 August, just before the UEFA Super Cup final against Atlético in Tallinn.