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Real Madrid: Ancelotti's first problem...

The Italian coach will have just 15 players to work with when the squad returns to Valdebebas - 12 players are out at Euro 2020 or Copa América

Real Madrid: Ancelotti's first problem...

Real Madrid are due to return to work in a fortnight's time but Carlo Ancelotti will have a reduced squad to work with due to players' involvement in various summer tournaments (Euro 2020, Copa América and the Olympic Games). The players will report for duty on Monday 5 July. That will be the moment when Ancelotti, who turned up in Valdebebas yesterday to start planning the pre-season, and Antonio Pintus will start working face-to-face with the players.

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The coach will only be able to work with the players who are not with their respective national teams at either Euro 2020 or the Copa América. The first day will involve routine medical check-ups to gauge players' fitness after the holidays. There will be 12 players who will join up with the squad later. Only then will Ancelotti be able to evaluate his squad to determine which players can leave during the transfer window. He will have 15 players at his disposal - goalkeepers Lunin and Altube; defenders Carvajal, Odriozola, Nacho, Marcelo, Mendy; Isco, Ødegaard, Lucas Vázquez (who has now fully recovered from the injury he sustained in El Clásico); Asensio and Brahim (who are waiting to see if they are included in Spain's Olympic team) plus Mariano and Rodrygo. It is not yet known whether Luka Jovic will be available as he could be transferred to Eintracht Frankfurt. Ancelotti will also be able to count on a handful of Castilla players who were given playing time with the first team last season such as Blanco, Gila, Miguel Gutiérrez, Chust, Marvin and Arribas.

Real Madrid players on international duty

The 12 players who are out on international duty are: Courtois and Hazard (Belgium), Benzema and Varane (France), Bale (Wales); Kroos (Germany), Modric (Croatia) and recent signing David Alaba, who is with Austria. The South Americans - Casemiro, Militão and Vinicius are at the Copa América with Brazil, and Valverde, with Uruguay. Added to those are the players who could be included in the list for the Tokyo Olympics - Vallejo, Ceballos, Brahim and Asensio. Take Kubo has been confirmed as part of the Japan squad at the Olympics. It's possible that Borja Mayoral could report for duty, although he will spend next season, like last, with Roma. Spain Under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente is due to announce the definite Olympic squad list on Monday 28 June, with the players expected to report for duty two days later.

The club's plan for the international players is the same as it was following the 2018 Russia World Cup. Those who have been with their national teams will have three weeks' holiday - 21 days to rest starting from the last game they were involved in. Like last year, the pre-season will be held in Valdebebas, although the team will play a handful of friendlies (no games have been officially arranged as of the moment). Last summer, the team played just one pre-season warm-up game in Valdebebas, beating Getafe 6-0 at the Alfredo Di Stéfano. It seems an age away when the squad would spend a large part of the summer on a world tour with a stage in the United States. Travel has been kept to a minimum since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and world tours are, for the moment, out of the question.


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