Bernabeu Bites: Pepe And Fabio Coentrao Out Against Ajax

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 24: Marcelo (L) of Real Madrid is tackled by Piti of Rayo Vallecano during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 24, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Welcome to Bernabeu Bites where every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday we take you around the world of Real Madrid, Liga BBVA and even throw in some European Football all in tasty bite-size form. So it back, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy!

Well, a 6-2 cleansing always helps, doesn't it?

Figured I'd get some of the bad news out of the way first:

We already know that Marcelo will not be playing in this coming week's UEFA Champions League tie with Ajax due to the red card he picked up against Dinamo Zagreb. The injuries that have been keeping Pepe and Fabio Coentrao out of la Liga play are going to extend into the Champions League as well. They've both been sidelined with hamstring injuries which will keep them out of the fixture against Ajax.

Speaking of UEFA: they're set to reduce the number of international friendlies. This includes the friendlies that are usually set in August (thank god). They released this statement:

"The overriding support was for a calendar made up only of double-headers and no single friendly dates, in particular in the month of August, which would help to streamline the competition calendar for national teams and help avoid clashes with domestic leagues. The process of consultation with the various involved parties is continuing with the objective of finding a common European calendar recommendation to FIFA."

This is just a really weird blurb and I wouldn't take much from it. But it appears that Real Madrid scouted Lazio defender Stefan Radu. The 24-year-old defender is said to be worth about 10 million euros.

FC Barcelona have been hit with the injury bug of late. The Blaugrana have already lost Alexis Sanchez and Andre Iniesta to hamstring issues and have now lost 25-year-old Dutch international midfielder Ibrahim Afellay to an ACL tear until sometime in 2012.

It seems that los blancos are being lumped in with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal for the services of English international and Bolton Wanderers defender Gary Cahill. The Wanderers defender has a 17 million pound buy out clause, which priced him out of the summer transfer market. He could be up for grabs during the winter window, lest Bolton risk loosing him next summer on a free.

In other transfer rumors, it seems that Manchester City would like to jump on the Neymar train and try to lure the kid to the blue side of Manchester. Apparently Roberto Mancini wants City to fight Real Madrid for the services of the youngster.

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