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Real boss Carlo Ancelotti not ‘affected or worried’ by Kylian Mbappe speculation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Feb 2024

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insisted he has no intention of letting speculation over Kylian Mbappe’s arrival at the club take his focus away from the job at hand.

Real are seen as the most likely destination for the French striker, who has informed Paris St Germain he intends to leave in the summer, but Ancelotti was careful not to fan the flames of those rumours.

With his side leading the way in LaLiga and well fancied to secure the title, the Italian coach is more interested in what happens in their away game at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday than what happens in the transfer market at the end of the campaign.

Pressed on the club’s interest in the 2018 World Cup winner, he said: “I see and hear what has happened. I understand that it’s the subject of the day for you, but for us it’s tomorrow’s game.

“Vallecas is always a tough place to play at. It has been in the past and it’ll be a tough game against a team that needs points.

“Do I seem affected or worried (about Mbappe) today? No. It will be the same at the next press conference.

“We have to finish this season well. We’ve discussed the game, we’ve watched a video and we’ve tried to prepare for the game as well as possible.

“It’s a vital game for our season. I’d like to finish this season well and try to win trophies. There’s plenty of time to think about next season.”

While Ancelotti was not keen to discuss the possible arrival of one global star, he was willing to reflect on the reduced role of another: Luka Modric.

The 38-year-old has had to settle for a more peripheral role than he is accustomed to this season and, although he looks certain to leave at the end of his contract, he has continued to make a positive impression behind the scenes.

“A player who is used to playing every game finds it tougher than others to sit on the bench,” admitted the head coach.

“But I understand and respect him. His behaviour is that of a very serious professional who continues to train and fight to be able to play.

“He’s available to play in any game, even tomorrow’s. He continues to contribute in the dressing room just as he did before when he played all the games.

“He’s a highly-respected player and an example of how a professional should be. He continues to be a figurehead for the squad.”

Former assistant Inigo Perez faces a baptism of fire as Vallecano’s new coach, attempting to lift a side who have lost five and drawn one of their last six and sit 14th in the standings.

“Four days are enough to work on an idea and it is not a new project because I already knew them,” he said.

“When it comes to picking up a team in the middle of the season, I’m lucky because I know everything.

“It’s relatively easy. But a team like Madrid demands the maximum from you in all aspects.”

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