Santiago Solari insisted Real Madrid’s transfer strategy is a private matter as he evaded questions about the continued speculation over potential incomings and outgoings at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Many in the Spanish media expect Madrid to push to sign a striker in the January window given their struggles in front of goal since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the close-season.
Los Blancos have also been linked with Sevilla attacking midfielder Pablo Sarabia, while the futures of Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas and playmaker Isco, both of whom have found game time hard to come by under Solari, have been the subject of intense scrutiny.
Navas only served to intensify speculation around him by recently posting a message saying “Thanks for everything” to the Madrid fans on his Instagram page.
However, speaking at a media conference ahead of Thursday’s LaLiga trip to Villarreal, Solari gave nothing away about any potential transfers.
Asked if he had requested a new signing, Solari said: “I have no news to tell you about that. What we are interested in is tomorrow’s game, and the start of this year, which we must begin with the maximum humility and commitment. Which we have at the moment.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 2, 2019
Pressed on whether he would understand if Navas or Isco wanted to leave, he replied: “I’m not working on any hypotheses. We’re all focused on the game tomorrow. All those players are part of the squad, I’m not thinking about any other hypothesis.
“It’s not my place to talk about transfer strategies. That’s a private matter.
“I think they’re all [the squad] pretty happy, ending a year with a [Club World Cup] title has been very important for everyone. They’re all very happy, what we’re focused on now is starting the year with the humility needed to take on these three competitions we want to try and win.”
Madrid visit a Villarreal side mired in the relegation zone but unbeaten in two games under new coach Luis Garcia, who has led them to a 2-0 Europa League win over Spartak Moscow and a 2-2 draw with Huesca since taking over last month.
“We have to do a solid game, put in a solid performance with a lot of energy,” Solari said. “It’s very important that we have good rhythm. Villarreal will try and change their dynamic, it’s always a difficult stadium to visit.
“They’ve changed their manager, that will bring maybe a change of style, change of system. We’re taking on the same team but with different characteristics.”
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