Hola everyone, David Cooper here. Welcome to Friday’s Real Madrid blog where we will be keeping you up to date on all the latest news, features and gossip from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Follow our updates below…
11:42pm: Prospect of Thibaut Courtois signing for Real Madrid this summer diminishes
The prospect of Thibaut Courtois signing for Real Madrid this summer is becoming less and less, Marca reports.
9:51pm: Julen Lopetegui weighs in on Cristiano Ronaldo departure
New manager Julen Lopetegui has weighed in on the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo for the first time since the Portuguese star’s shock transfer to Juventus.
8:35pm: Julen Lopetegui reassures No1 Keylor Navas of his place
Read more about Navas here.
7:49pm: Julen Lopetegui “delighted” with his team’s pre-season preparations
Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui says he is “delighted” with his team’s preparations during a pre-season that has been marred by players being absent due to the World Cup.
Read more on what the boss had to say here.
7:01pm: Bale needs to show he can be the star now Ronaldo’s gone
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were teammates until a month ago. Now, two players whose careers have been intertwined for the last five seasons have stages to themselves – and with that, the responsibility to deliver.
4:37pm: Real Madrid players said to be unhappy with Sergio Ramos’ extended summer holiday
Sergio Ramos is an integral figure to Real Madrid, but several of his teammates are said to be unhappy about the club allowing the captain to extend his summer break for the second successive year.
Read more on this story here.
4:19pm: Chelsea join race for Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic
Chelsea are the latest club to pursue Mateo Kovacic after the Real Madrid midfielder turned down Manchester United, Italian outlet CalcioMercato claim.
Read on here.
12:00pm: Agent of Thibaut Courtois turns up heat on Chelsea
It’s a transfer saga that has rumbled on since the World Cup was done and dusted and now Christophe Henrotay, agent of Thibaut Courtois, has revealed that Real Madrid have made a concrete offer for their client.
But so far that’s not enough for Chelsea – read more here.
10:54am: Real Madrid arrive in Washington ahead of clash with Juventus
Los Blancos have touched down in Washington D.C. for their next match in the International Champions Cup, against Juventus at FedEx Field, the home of the NFL team the Washington Redskins
Real will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Manchester United in Miami on Wednesday, in new manager Julen Lopetegui’s first match in charge.
Consternation was building around Sergio Ramos’ late return from his holiday but to the relief of Madrid fans the no-nonsense defender is finally back with the team in time for tonight’s match (Kick-off: 02:00 Sunday UAE Time).
One player who won’t be lining up for Juventus is new signing Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently unfollowed Los Blancos on instagram.
As you’ll see below the fans were out in force to welcome Madrid to the US capital.
“Cristiano is one of the most important players in the club’s history,” the man who replaced Zinedine Zidane this summer said. “He expressed his intention to go and the club facilitated his exit, recognizing the legacy he has left behind.”
Ronaldo’s departure has left a huge hole for Madrid to fill. However, Lopetegui says he’s relishing the challenge of leading the side into a new era.
“When I signed (Ronaldo) still belonged to the club, but soon after he expressed his intention to go.
“It’s an exciting challenge reinventing the team without Ronaldo, making it competitive and capable of winning titles. I have no doubt that it will happen with these players that we have.”
Madrid have been linked with several strikers as observers wonder how Ronaldo’s near 50-goal average per season will be replaced – he managed 44 across all competitions last season – but Lopetegui played down the possibility of a replacement being signed.
“We won’t talk about hypotheticals,” he said. “The reality is that I am convinced by the team I have. I prefer not to talk about things that haven’t happened.”
The Costa Rican has had to contend with rumours of the club looking to bring in other players at his position throughout his time in Madrid, and this summer has been no different.
“I spoke with him and we are happy to have him and happy it is how it is,” the Spaniard said.
“There is nothing more to say.
“Keylor has been crucial [to this team] for a long time and will continue to be. We want to continue enjoying the performances that Keylor has given for Madrid.”