Solari Addresses Ramos Fitness And Lineup Choices



Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos is in line to face Girona in the Copa del Rey after recovering from a knock, Santiago Solari has confirmed.

The Spain international was withdrawn at half-time against Espanyol on Sunday as he suffered a blow to his knee, but a serious issue was averted and Ramos has been training as normal with his team-mates.

Solari acknowledged the problem was a concern for Madrid, with the derby against Atletico Madrid and a Champions League last-16 tie with Ajax on the horizon, yet the skipper will be available for Thursday's match.


"Sergio is fit," Solari told a pre-match news conference. "It was a scare when it happened - it was a tough blow - but he's recovered and has been training with the rest of his team-mates. That's good news."

Only Jesus Vallejo is not available for Solari, who has a decision to make in attack where Vinicius Junior has impressed in the absence of senior men.

Asked of a direct choice between Vinicius and Gareth Bale, the coach told reporters: "It depends on the game. Every game has a different script. We have many games coming up.


"The great news is that all the players - apart from Vallejo, who has started training - are fit and available. We're going to have that healthy competition in the squad, which can only benefit us going forward.

"We're delighted with [Vinicius'] progress. He's just arrived at the club and he's already done very well. We have such a great squad. Everyone's working so hard. All but Vallejo are training and working hard."


Solari would only repeat his satisfaction with the Madrid squad as he was asked for a transfer update ahead of the window closing this week, the head coach refusing to pass comment on reported interest in Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic.

"I think we have a good squad. We're going to battle on all three fronts," he said. "The team is in good shape, looking forward to each and every game. You can see the enthusiasm in training.

"We've welcomed players back from injury and that's the best news."