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Open Thread: January 2, 2022

Our Sunday issue of the daily merengue

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

It’s matchday!

Our squad list for the game is:

The only players who did not train with the team yesterday was the injuried Carvajal and Bale, and the still Covid-19 positive Jovic and Vinicius Junior. Camavinga is suspended for this game. Maybe you didn’t notice, but, after a lot of time, Ceballos is back in the squad list.

According to AS, Hazard starts in this game. Courtois is also starting. Lunin will start against Alcoyano on Wednesday.

Alaba’s comments.

I wanted number 27, my usual number. But La Liga rules don’t allow this. The club wanted me to wear number 4, a special number - Ramos wore it, before him it was Hierro. I wear it with pride.

We don’t press as high and play with a high defensive line like I did with Bayern under Flick. That’s something I noticed quickly. All the teams here in La Liga depend on building from the back.

Inside Real Madrid dressing room, many teammates don’t speak English, which forces me to speak Spanish. I understand Spanish well, but giving an interview in that language... that would be something else.

Transfer Rumours.

According to Tomás Gonzáles-Martín, journalist who covers Real Madrid for ABC Deportes, Mbappé is set to sign an agreement with Real Madrid for a contract of 6 years, with a sallary of €21 million and bonus signing bonus of € 40 million. The annoucement will be made only at the end of the season. Mbappé’s lawyer declined 3 offers from PSG offering the player a sallary of €36 million! I hope we call all celebrate an image similar to the below:

Real apparentely is not considering signing Rüdinger, after he asked for a €20 million bonus signing. As reported by Navarrete, the club thinks the player’s agent is using Real Madrid for high bids. The club believes the defense is well covered by Militão and Alaba and are focusing on signing a younger centre-back with Vallejo leaving.

Fabrizio Romano dismissed every rumour regarding any Haaland transfer in January. Nothing will happen in January, not even his next club will be decided that early. It will take time. According to AS, Haaland answered to fans in Marbella, Spain, where he is spending his vacation: “I’ll play here, in Spain”