REAL MADRID

Ancelotti's second spell at Real Madrid begins

The Italian coach's second project at Madrid begins, and he has to deal with many issues right from the start of his tenure.

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Ancelotti's second spell at Real Madrid begins

Carlo Ancelotti is back in charge of Real Madrid. The Italian's project 2.0 kicks off on Monday at Valdebebas. From 8:30 in the morning, the players will begin to appear at the training facilities for the traditional summer check-ups and weigh-ins. Ancelotti will only be able to count on 13 of the 29 players in the squad. Eight (Alaba, Bale, Modric, Benzema, Varane, Kroos, Courtois and Hazard) went to the European Championship, four to the Copa America (Valverde, Vinicius, Militao and Casemiro) and another four will be at the Tokyo Olympics (Kubo, Ceballos, Asensio and Vallejo). The first training session back will take place at 18:00 local time.

Davide Ancelotti, Madrid's new assistant

It is already certain that Ancelotti will have his son Davide as assistant coach, and the club have not yet found a third in-house coach, as was the coach's wish (he had Zidane and Hierro in his first spell). Raúl prefers to remain at Castilla and Arbeloa must wait for his UEFA Pro licence. There will be a familiar face with the return of fitness coach Antonio Pintus, who was with Zidane in the first spell. Luis Llopis, the goalkeeping coach, who also worked under Zidane, returns after a spell at Real Sociedad.

Ancelotti will use these first few days of work to sort out some issues. Between five and seven departures must be made to trim the squad to 22 or 24 (although 25 are allowed). There will be some players who will leave on loan, such as Brahim Díaz and Kubo, and others who could be sold. Ancelotti's agenda already includes meetings with Isco, Odegaard and Ceballos. Isco has no offers on the table yet and his contract expires in 2022. He had planned to leave if the possibility arose, but the arrival of Ancelotti has changed his situation. Everything is subject to that pending conversation. It is the same with Ceballos, although he does not want to go back out on loan.

Varane's future up in the air

The other important issue is Varane's future. Manchester United have already begun negotiations with Madrid for the defender. For the moment, United are not offering more than €45 million. If he does end up leaving, Vallejo will stay and become the club's fourth choice centre-back, after new signing Alaba, Militao and Nacho. If Varane stays, Vallejo will go out on loan once again.

Happy with Madrid squad

Ancelotti is delighted with the squad he has at his disposal and made this clear to Florentino Pérez in the brief meeting they both had on the day of his presentation at the club. There is, in his opinion, a good blend of youth and experience, and beyond the fact that the signing of Mbappé could be the icing on the cake, the Italian knows that there is also talent coming through the ranks. He has the option of choosing from a list of Castilla players to help bolster his squad for the upcoming season. Arribas, Chust, Blanco, Miguel Gutiérrez, Marvin and Gila will all be options for Madrid's first team squad for the 2021/22 season.