Real Madrid are preparing to start their La Liga season against Athletic Club at the San Mames Barria on Saturday (August 12). Carlo Ancelotti’s team will have their eyes on the league after missing out last campaign.
Meanwhile, Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou wants to move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. Elsewhere, Los Blancos have received a boost regarding midfielder Arda Gular.
On that note, here’s a look at the key Real Madrid transfer stories as on August 12, 2023:
Yassine Bounou wants Santiago Bernabeu move
Yassine Bounou is eager to move to Real Madrid this summer, according to Marca. The La Liga giants are looking for a replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who picked up an ACL injury in training that required surgery. The Belgian is expected to be out for at least six months, so Los Blancos are looking for a replacement.
Bounou has emerged as an option, with Real Madrid identifying him as a player with a similar profile to Courtois. The Moroccan reportedly has a €30 million release clause in his contract, and Sevilla had previously assured the player’s camp that he would be allowed to leave for €20 million.
However, the Spanish side are now planning to demand that his release clause be triggered to allow him to leave. Los Blancos are determined not to pay over the odds for Bounou.
The La Liga giants are also sceptical about the move, as the 32-year-old will miss a month of action next year due to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Real Madrid receive Arda Guler boost
Real Madrid have received a boost regarding Arda Guler. The youngster joined Los Blancos from Fenerbahce this summer with a lot of hype but picked up a meniscus injury in pre-season.
It was previously believed that Guler will miss a chunk of the season as he prepares to get fit. However, speaking to the press as cited by Madrid Universal, Ancelotti said that the Turkish midfielder is expected to be back soon.
“If he has surgery, the recovery time is very short. Arda’s problem is very small, and, I think, he can recover very soon. I can’t go into details for privacy.”
The La Liga giants are unlikely to rush the teenager into action given that Ancelotti also has Jude Bellingham, among others, in his arsenal.
Carlo Ancelotti backs Andriy Lunin to cover for Thibaut Courtois
Carlo Ancelotti reckons Real Madrid already have cover for Thibaut Courtois in Andriy Lunin. The Belgian goalkeeper’s absence due to injury is a big blow for the La Liga giants, who have been linked with multiple goalkeepers as a result.
However, speaking to the press as cited by Marca, Ancelotti said that Los Blancos have full confidence in Lunin to step up in Courtois’ absence.
“Emotionally, yesterday was not a good day. These things usually happen in football, and now we have to hope that Courtois can recover soon and show all (our) confidence to Lunin, who is a great goalkeeper.
“He did well during the preseason, and we have total confidence in him. He is a talent, and what he lacks is what everyone lacks. The experience he is gaining day by day,” said Ancelotti.
Ancelotti also added that Real Madrid could sign a new custodian to help cover for Lunin in the squad.
“We are very sad, but this can happen. We have a very large squad to solve these problems that can happen. We have time until the 31st (of August). Behind Lunin, the goalkeepers have potential, but they are young. We will think about it,” said Ancelotti.
“Fran is 17 years old. If we sign (a goalkeeper)tit will be because of the number (of goalkeepers we have). We have total confidence in Lunin, and the next few days, we will see if we add one more goalkeeper to the squad.”
Lunin is in the final year of his contract with Los Blancos and was previously linked with an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu.