Real Madrid do seem to have changed their tune on their injury issues in the middle of defence. Initially the club line was that they would not look to recruit after David Alaba was ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, but now all of the reports acknowledge that there is a conscious effort to find an alternative. However they will not be signing the defender that Carlo Ancelotti is keen on.
Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane is reportedly out of contract, and being out of the team, is likely available this January. Ancelotti was keen on Varane, due to his experience, the fact he would be able to adapt easily, and his own knowledge of the player.
Yet Marca report that Real Madrid are not looking at Varane. It had been suggested that Rafa Marin, who is on loan at Alaves, could return to Los Blancos this winter, but Real Madrid have ‘not moved a finger’ in recent days. They are not planning on bringing back either. While Head Scout Juni Calafat is looking at potential options, no options that ‘seduce’ President Florentino Perez have been presented to him.
Ancelotti’s desire for a central defender to arrive appear to be much more urgent, and understandably so given Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are in theory their only fit central defenders for much of the next three months. They would be relying on Eder Militao to return ahead of schedule (February), and Aurelien Tchouameni filling in there. Thus far, Real Madrid have survived their injuries well, yet the Italian manager will be wary of pushing Rudiger to breaking point – he played more minutes than any other Real Madrid player in 2023.