Ancelotti said planning for 2022/23 is already done: “It would be unprofessional for a club like Real Madrid not to have everything mapped out at this stage”.
Carlo Ancelotti faced the media on Tuesday to look ahead to tomorrow’s Copa del Rey clash with Alcoyano but much of the chat in the Real Madrid coach’s first press conference of 2022 was on the transfer window and which players could be arriving and departing.
Injuries: “Bale is committed – he has six months left to run on his contract and he wants to honour them. We have to do everything possible to ensure that he remains fit. If he doesn’t feel right, he starts thinking he might have a problem; we have to take a closer look at what the problem might be but we don’t usually comment in detail on injuries out of repect for privacy”.
Planning the team for next season: “This club has always done that. Planning the squad for next season is already done. It would seem a little unprofessional for a club like Madrid not to have everything planned at this stage”.
Ceballos: “I like him as a player, I like his personality, the character he shows out on the pitch… He’s doing well. He’ll be important for us in the second half of the season because he has the quality needed to be in the Madrid squad”.
Bale: “Bale isn’t injured. He’s not feeling well. He has been doing personlised training. He could play against Valencia or we’ll take him with us for the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia”.
Players who could leave in the January window: “We’re not think about letting anyone leave. Firstly, because no one has asked to leave. Also because we’ve been able to manage the squad quite well. I don’t have any problems with anyone and all of them are training well so I don’t think anyone will ne leaving us in the winter transfer window”.
Supposed offer for Mbappé: “I don’t think it’s fair to talk about players who aren’t here with us. I have a good relationship with Branchini. I’d rather not talk about that”.
Wednesday’s Cup tie against Alcoyano: “It will be a different game for us. It’s a knockout tie which we will be playing away from home and it’s an important competition. It’s not a trick game, but it will be different because you are playing to stay in the tournament. This is the start of our Cup campaign and it’s very important. The objective is to win the Cup. It will be a game in which we will require a lot of things – not just quality, where in theory, we are superior, we will need other things as well. We need to win individual battles, be efficient from set-pieces… We will have a few players out due to minor fitness issues – Benzema, Modric, Mendy. Courtois is the only one who is fit but on’t play because I want Lunin to play”.
Lunin and Vinicius: “Lunin is an Alcoyano season ticket holder! (laughs). He knows the ground and what atmopshere to expect, so he should be able to put in a good game. The only thing I have said to him is that, for the quality he has, he deserves to play more. Vinicius has been training and is fit to play. He’s followed the protocol, but he’ll be staying here so that he’s available for the Valencia game”
Hazard: “I’d like to be clear – this is a game in which I want to give playing time to one player in particular, Lunin. As for the rest, I’ll field the best team possible. This isn’t a game to give playing time to those who have played less than others. We need to put out our strongest team”.