REAL MADRID

Ancelotti to hand Mario Gila a first-team chance

Castilla defender Mario Gila has caught the eye of Carlo Ancelotti, who has instructed the club to retain the 20-year-old amid uncertainty over Ramos and Varane.

0
Ancelotti to hand Mario Gila a first-team chance
CHEMA DIAZ

One of the first tasks Carlo Ancelotti has set himself after returning to Real Madrid for a second spell in charge has been to comb the club’s youth teams to see what La Fábrica has got that could be useful for the senior side. Among the piles of videos and reports handed to the Italian one name has emerged: that of Mario Gila, a 20-year-old Barcelona-born central defender who has caught Ancelotti’s eye with doubts at the club over whether Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane will be at the coach’s disposal for the 2021-22 season.

Gila to be handed opportunity to impress in pre-season

Gila, as the defender is known, did not impress Zinedine Zidane and has not debuted with the first team with the Frenchman preferring Víctor Chust when he was forced to dip into Castilla’s stock last season. However, Ancelotti has taken a different view and has instructed the club to ensure that Gila does not leave this summer in search of senior football elsewhere. Serie A side Sassuolo tabled an offer in January and Gila was considering an exit after Castilla’s failed promotion push for Segunda.

Gila is under contract until 2024 but had been considering his options despite being the most-used player in Raúl’s reserve side last season. Either a loan deal or a partial transfer (for 50 percent of his rights) were under serious consideration but Ancelotti has instead promoted the defender to the first team for pre-season when he will give the youngster a chance to stake his claim to a place in the squad for the 2021-22 campaign.

While not an imposing figure at 1.84 metres, Gila is noted for his speed, ability to play the ball out from the back and, above all, his dangerous presence at set pieces.

Ancelotti keen to keep the core of Zidane's Castilla back-ups

Ancelotti has also been watching Antonio Blanco, who featured under Zidane last season and is viewed as the most promising player of his generation at Castilla, and has given the green light for Miguel Gutiérrez, Sergio Arribas and Marvin Park to remain in the orbit of the first team this season.

Whether or not these young players will be definitively promoted or not depends on the number of squad places available when Ancelotti has determined which of his loan players will stay or be moved on, and the uncertain futures of several senior players including Ramos and Varane have been resolved.