Real Madrid U-Turn: Ceballos & Odegaard expected to remain following CL disappointment

Speculation in the Spanish media today has suggested that Real Madrid have altered their personnel plans on the back of the club’s Champions League elimination, with both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard now expected to stay put for next season.

City advance

Zidane’s Blancos got their European campaign back underway last Friday, with a trip to the Etihad.

The Spanish champions headed into proceedings as underdogs to advance to the Champions League’s final-8, on the back of a 2-1 first-leg defeat at the Bernabeu.

The uphill task facing Real was only steepened, meanwhile, by the absence of captain and leader Sergio Ramos through suspension.

And, when all was said and done in Manchester, the hole left by Ramos at the heart of Los Merengues’ backline proved telling.

A shaky defensive display on the part of Zidane’s men, highlighted by a pair of of high-profile Raphael Varane mistakes, eventually saw Real once again put to the sword by 2 goals to 1.

After Raheem Sterling put Manchester City in front inside the opening 10 minutes, the visitors bagged a crucial away goal courtesy of Karim Benzema to level things up with 28 minutes on the clock.

Gabriel Jesus’ City 2nd a little over 20 minutes from time, though, proved the night’s key strike, as Real Madrid saw their hopes of reclaiming Champions League supremacy brought to an end for another season.

Loanees to stay put?

Real’s elimination, for obvious reasons, came as a major blow, with Los Blancos having no doubt headed to Manchester brimming with confidence, fresh off the back of wrestling the La Liga title away from Barcelona.

Zidane’s men, though, were, all told, simply outplayed by Manchester City over the course of the two legs.

And, as outlined above, the disappointing nature of their European exit looks set to have far-reaching repercussions when it comes to the club’s squad for next season.

This comes amid claims that both Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos are set to be depended on at the Bernabeu next season.

First off, Odegaard, who recently enjoyed a stellar campaign on loan with Real Sociedad, and was due to continue his development at the Anoeta Stadium in 2020/21, is widely reported to have been recalled early.

The Dane is therefore set to be handed the opportunity to carve out a spot for himself in Zidane’s starting XI moving forward:

Ceballos, meanwhile, of course starred over the final months of a loan stint with Arsenal this past season.

And, as per AS, the level of the Spaniard’s displays en route to FA Cup glory with the Gunners, coupled with Real’s early Champions League exit, have seen those in a position of power in Madrid also change their minds on the 24-year-old.

As such, though a return to north London had looked very much on the cards, Ceballos is now expected to join Odegaard in vying for a starting berth at the Bernabeu next season.

Man City’s Sergio Aguero may not play again until next season – Guardian

Man United sound out Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele as a possible Sancho alternative – ESPN

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 38 52 99
2 Manchester City FC 38 67 81
3 Manchester United FC 38 30 66
4 Chelsea FC 38 15 66
5 Leicester City FC 38 26 62
6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 38 14 59
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 38 11 59
8 Arsenal FC 38 8 56
9 Sheffield United FC 38 0 54
10 Burnley FC 38 -7 54
11 Southampton FC 38 -9 52
12 Everton FC 38 -12 49
13 Newcastle United FC 38 -20 44
14 Crystal Palace FC 38 -19 43
15 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 38 -15 41
16 West Ham United FC 38 -13 39
17 Aston Villa FC 38 -26 35
18 AFC Bournemouth 38 -25 34
19 Watford FC 38 -28 34
20 Norwich City FC 38 -49 21
Player Team Goals
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 23
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 22
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 22
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 20
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 19
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 18
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 18
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 17
Martial, Anthony Manchester United FC 17
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17
Aguero, Sergio Manchester City FC 16
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 15
Jesus, Gabriel Manchester City FC 14
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 14
De Bruyne, Kevin Manchester City FC 13
Richarlison Everton FC 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 11
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 11
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City FC 11

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