Carlo Ancelotti said he hoped Kylian Mbappe “enjoys himself” at Real Madrid after Karim Benzema predicted the Paris Saint-Germain star would move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Benzema claimed it was a matter of time until his international team-mate signs for Los Blancos.
Madrid reportedly saw three bids rejected by PSG for the France star during the transfer window, the last one said to be worth €200million.
Yet with Mbappe’s contract expiring at the end of the season and no sign of an extension, the 22-year-old will be free to speak with foreign clubs over a possible free transfer from January onwards.
When asked about Benzema’s comments ahead of Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Espanyol, Ancelotti replied: “I hope Mbappe enjoys himself because Madrid are the biggest club in the world!”
Madrid’s trip to Barcelona comes in the week when they were stunned by Champions League debutants Sheriff 2-1 at home.
Having won five matches in a row, Madrid are now without a victory in their previous two, having been held 0-0 at home by Villarreal in their most recent league match.
Ancelotti has been losing sleep over those recent results but is not concerned by recent criticism of his side or his methods.
“The game against Sheriff hurt our pride. We’ll react and give everything tomorrow, as we did against Sheriff,” Ancelotti said.
“It’s true we committed small mistakes, weren’t precise enough in finishing, in passing, in their few chances.
“It affected me physically because I don’t sleep, and I think about what happened. When you don’t win, you don’t sleep.
“I accept it [criticism], whether it’s fair or unfair, you have to accept it. It’s normal. I have a fantastic position, and I’m lucky to be here, and you have to accept that they can criticise you.
“We need to have more balance and really assess what’s happening to us. We have struggled for goals in our last two games and we need to address that in our next game. I don’t think that it’s a case of this being a tough time, but it is certainly tougher than it was before, but we have to solve it by playing with balance and energy.”
This weekend also sees a clash between champions Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, a game Ancelotti plans to watch as he expects both to be their main title rivals this term.
“We’re going to fight with those two until the end. Atleti are maybe better coming into it,” he said.
“I’m going to watch because they’re two big teams, but if we do what we need to do, we’re going to fight for titles.”
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