Rafa Benitez gets knockback on two Real Madrid players – Report
Newcastle United have failed with approaches for two Real Madrid players according to reports from Spain.
Marca report that Rafa Benitez contacted his old club to ask about the availability of both Lucas Vazquez and Kiko Casilla.
The Spanish sports paper says that they understand that both approaches were met with an instant refusal to consider letting them go.
Both are fringe players but Real Madrid see both having a part to play in the season ahead.
Lucas Vazquez is a winger/attacking midfielder and played 33 times in La Liga last season, 12 starts and 21 from the bench.
Real Madrid don’t kick off their league season until Sunday night when they visit Deportivo but Vazquez started in the 2-0 home leg win over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup (equivalent of Community Shield), then came off the bench in the away leg when Real won 3-1, He also cam off the bench to play a part in the UEFA Super Cup 2-1 win over Manchester United.
Last summer, Lucas Vazquez credited Rafa Benitez (see below) after he played a part in Real Madrid’s 2016 Champions League win, Rafa having been the manager to give him his first chance at the club.
Marca say that the other player Rafa was after was Kiko Casilla, the 30 year old being the kind of experienced number one keeper that the Newcastle boss is desperate to bring in. Casilla started 11 times in La Liga for Real Madrid last season and has been on the bench as reserve keeper in all three of these pre-season Super Cup games against Barcelona and Real Madrid.
With the lack of financial backing for Rafa, it is hard to see the Newcastle offers as being to buy, so little surprise they La Liga club showed no interest in letting two fringe players leave who are regulars on the bench, as well as getting some starts.
The Mag – 16 June 2016:
Whilst the likes of Ronaldo were claimed to have undermined Rafa Benitez at Real Madrid, one up and coming star is full of praise for his former boss.
Lucas Vazquez was given his first chance for Real Madrid by Rafa last season and is now looking at a potential dream double.
After spending a season on loan at Espanyol in 2014/15, the right winger was brought into the Real Madrid first team set-up by Rafa Benitez and ended up making 18 appearance (all competitions) in total.
The season had a spectacular ending for Lucas Vazquez as he replaced Benzema in the Champions League final and played the final 43 minutes, before being one of the successful penalty takers that defeated Atletico Madrid in the penalty shootout.
This helped trigger yet another development, as Vazquez came from nowhere to make the Spain squad for the Euros, making his very first international appearance only last week against Georgia, then sitting on the bench on Monday as Spain defeated the Czech Republic.
Vazquez values the contribution of Rafa Benitez to his success and development, saying that both ‘Zidane and Benitez are great coaches…neither is better than the other’.
Going on to say he is ‘very grateful’ because both Rafa and Zidane ‘trusted’ the winger this season.
Lucas Vazquez reported by AS:
“Winning them both (CL and Euros) in the same season would be amazing, a feat very few have done.
“A month ago I thought at this time I would be on holiday on the beach, but I feel very comfortable and I really want to play. I’m wearing the number nine, which is a number I love.
“Zidane and Benitez are two great coaches. They have different styles and neither is better than the other, each has his methods.
“I am very happy with both because they trusted me and gave me the chance to play. I’m very grateful.
“It is very difficult to get a place (for Real Madrid and Spain) as there are great players on both teams and a deep squad.”
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