REAL MADRID

Real Madrid have many issues to resolve ahead of 2020-21 campaign

Real Madrid have many matters still pending ahead of the 2020-21 season, including that of Mbappé, finalising Ancelotti's coaching staff and finding preseason friendly opponents.

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Real Madrid has many issues to resolve ahead of 2020-21 campaign
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

With just ten days until the start of preseason training on July 5, many unknowns still surround Real Madrid’s planning for next season.

Things accelerated in the days following the conclusion of LaLiga in late May, with the closing of the renewals of Luka Modric and Lucas Vázquez, as well as the signings of David Alaba and new coach Carlo Ancelotti. Another step forward was taken with Sergio Ramos’ farewell on June 17. But since then, days of relative calm have ensued and there are still many issues to be resolved during a long summer, until the transfer market closes on August 31.

Mbappé operation on hold until after Euro 2020

France's forward Kylian Mbappe takes part in their MD-1 training session at the National Arena in Bucharest on June 27, 2021, on the eve of their UEFA EURO 2020 round of 16 football match against Switzerland.

One of the biggest issues to be resolved is that of Kylian Mbappé. The operation, which already seems laborious and complicated, has been put on hold until the end of France’s Euro 2020 campaign, which could go all the way to the final.

“I'm not interested in talking about my future right now, I'm here to represent and play for France. The most important thing is the national team, I'm not going to disturb the group," the PSG star, whose contract expires in June 2022, insisted again when asked to discuss his future this Sunday ahead of Monday’s last-16 clash between France and Switzerland.

But as much as Mbappé remains the signing Madridistas most dream of, there is still a lot of other transfer-based work for the club to focus on, particularly in the outgoing section. As things stand, with the arrival of Alaba, the departure of Ramos and the return of seven on-loan players, Ancelotti will need to set up 29 lockers in the Valdebebas dressing room to accommodate all the players that currently have a contract.

Ancelotti also has the task of completing the assembling of his coaching staff. The club confirmed the return of fitness coach Antonio Pintus, but finding an in-house assistant for the Italian coach is still pending.

Carlo Ancelotti gets to work at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training base.

Real Madrid pre-season calendar remains empty

For now, the pre-season calendar for Los Blancos remains blank. The planning, for which there would have been several months in any pre-pandemic scenario, this time will be impacted by the restrictions and protocols over the coming weeks. A year ago, with almost no time between the end of one season and the start of the next, the only pre-season match was a training friendly against Getafe; since a second match scheduled against Rayo Vallecano had to be cancelled due to a positive covid-19 case.

This year the pre-season opponents are yet to be determined, while many of the top LaLiga clubs have already committed to matches against clubs from lower categories, and even some friendlies abroad.

As for the start of competition, LaLiga will begin the weekend of 14-15 August. On Wednesday, the fixtures calendar will once again be determined by a draw. Madrid has already requested to play away from home for the first three match days to allow work to advance on the revamped Santiago Bernabéu so that it is ready for action on matchday four.