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

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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