Amid a furore of interest and speculation, Fabio Coentrao made his first appearance for Real Madrid last night since November but it didn’t exactly go to plan.
Madrid won the game at a canter but Coentrao was sent off for a second bookable offence late on in the game with an inexplicably rash challenge.
Coentrao was never going to get the ball but from the floor, he kicked up to try in an attempt to get the ball but caught the thigh of an Osasuna player.
What was he thinking?
Take a look at the challenge here:
Was that his goodbye to Madrid? Potentially. It almost looked like he did it on purpose, it certainly wasn’t the tackle of a player in the right frame of mind. Carlo Ancelotti gave him an opportunity to prove himself but mentally, he wasn’t all there against Osasuna.
Peculiarly, instead of lambasting him Ancelotti was actually full of praise for Coentrao’s performance.
He told AS: “He was unlucky with the sending off, he had a very good game. He’s completely focused, he didn’t make any errors apart from the sending off. We have to evaluate the entire game he played.”
The red card was far from unlucky and Ancelotti’s words are strange but they do sound very supportive of Coentrao. Does Ancelotti really want him to stay? Of course, it could all be mind games.
It looked for all the world like Coentrao was going to complete his move to United this week but there have been delays due to either Madrid’s stance on a fee or a reluctance to sell because he was needed in the squad.
However, Madrid are now reportedly closing in on left back Guilherme Siquiera who they were supposed to sign in the summer before Coentrao’s deal collapsed then as well. It is a move that would pave the way for Coentrao to complete his move to United.
A deal to bring Coentrao to United initially looked very straight forward but Madrid have dragged their heels. However, with a silly red card in his comeback match and a potential replacement lined up, Coentrao may well have played his last game in a Madrid shirt for this season at least.