Monday, 21 July 2008

Schuster takes 4 youngsters to Austria

Bernd Schuster will take four players from the Real Madrid Castilla squad (Real's reserves) to join the rest of the "expedition" to Austria for preseason training. The four are Dani Parejo (midfield) and Antón (defender), fresh from the Spain U-19 squad's disappointing European Championships, as well as Juanmi Callejón (midfielder) and Felipe (goalkeeper).

It will be hard, not to say impossible, for any of these four to break into the main squad this season, given Schuster's track record with the four he took along to Irdning last year (Adrián, Bueno, Granero and De la Red). However, it will be a chance for the coach to see whether any can be called upon as substitutes for injury, or in the less-regarded Copa del Rey. One, Dani Parejo, has been the subject of much transfer speculation from the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and even Barcelona, but his likely destination is a season's loan to Getafe, much like De la Red last year.

The rest of the players joining these four youngsters on the plane to Austria on Monday are: Dudek, Codina, Torres, Salgado, Cannavaro, Pepe, Diarra, Guti, Baptista, Robben, Sneijder, Javi García, Raúl, Higuaín, Van Nistelrooy, Saviola and Soldado. Casillas, Ramos, De la Red and Metzelder have an extra week's holiday following their appearance in last month's European Championship final and will join their team-mates next Monday (28th July). Marcelo, Drenthe and Gago, are due to join their Olympic national squads to compete in Beijing, and are scheduled return to Madrid at the end of August (barring any of them being transferred out or loaned, of course).

Robinho, who was also called up to the Brazil Olympic squad, is reportedly suffering from a groin injury that was discovered during this morning's preseason medical check-up. The club has therefore written to the Brazilian federation asking for him to be released. Whether this is an excuse to keep him close at hand while contract renewal negotiations (or talks with Chelsea over a possible transfer) take place, remains to be seen.

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