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REAL MADRID

Kubo, Rodrygo find themselves in limbo under Zidane

At the weekend, the two youngsters were neither called up for the first team nor were they available for Raul's Castilla.

With just five days until Real Madrid kick off their LaLiga campaign, Zinedine Zidane is in the midst of fine-tuning his squad ahead of the trip to Celta Vigo.

The summer casting session is now over. And Rodrygo and Kubo, the two freshest breaths of air to emerge from a disappointing pre-season, now find themselves in a state of limbo. At the weekend, the two youngsters were neither called up for the first team nor were they available for Raúl's Castilla.

Although they impressed during the US tour, Zidane decided to leave them at home for the most recent trips to Austria and Rome. But while Zidane’s side were playing Red Bull Salzburg last Wednesday, the young Japanese and Brazilian played in Castilla’s 3-0 win over Alcorcon. However at the weekend, the pair were resigned to watching both Castilla’s 3-2 win at Tenerife on Saturday and the first team’s draw in Rome on their televisions from Madrid.

Instead of having them travel to Tenerife with Raúl, Zidane opted to keep them at Valdebebas for the last training session on Saturday ahead of the Roma game on Sunday – a decision that goes in some way in explaining the club’s thinking.

For the club, there is no urgency to loan them out in order for them to gain experience. They believe that Kubo and Rodrigo can stay at Castilla and continue training with the first team, which, considering they are so young, would already be an apprenticeship in itself for the two 18-year-olds.

Rodrygo and Kubo’s passport issue

Another issue for Rodrygo and Kubo is in relation to LaLiga’s foreign player quota. While Fede Valverde is waiting to gain Spanish citizenship, the quota of three non-EU players will be filled by the Uruguayan, Eder Militao and Vinicius.

In order for Zidane to select one of either Kubo or Rodrigo, it would likely be Vinicius who would be sent to the stands or drop down to play with Castilla.