Ancelotti silent over Bale

Carlo Ancelotti has told reporters he will not talk about Gareth Bale ahead of their match against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Los Blancos face the Basque team tomorrow lunchtime, but the gathered journalists were more interested in hearing about the likely arrival of the Wales international.

“I don’t want to talk about transfers, I don’t want to talk about players who aren’t here,” Ancelotti began the Press conference.

“It would be better for everyone if we spoke about tomorrow’s game and the players we have, thank you.

“I asked not to talk about this. I won't talk about a player who isn't at the club. Bale is still a Tottenham player. I think that all the players think that if someone new comes in, that’s good for the club.”

The Italian tactician then commented on Kaka’s departure, Cristiano Ronaldo and the Iker Casillas/Diego Lopez situation.

“I think Kaka was clear when he spoke to the Press. The club understands his decision. I think the player and the club will find a good solution over the next few days for all parties.

“It’s true that in the previous games Ronaldo changed his position a bit but against Granada he was back in his old spot though he didn’t score – that’s not a problem because he didn’t score in the first game last year either.

“The team won and he did well.

“Diego Lopez will play tomorrow. He’s playing well, he’s in good form, he’s calm.

“Casillas is also playing well, he’s a true professional. Casillas deserves my respect, he’s a club captain.

“I spoke to him before the first game and I want to talk to him again to explain the situation. I don’t think he’ll leave. He’s not said anything about that.

“There will be chances for Iker. Casillas for the Champions and Diego for the league? I don’t know, we’ll see, I’m going to take a decision soon to give Casillas the chance to play.

“We haven’t spoken about [Iker leaving]. I don’t think he’ll leave. We need two good keepers. I’m sure Casillas will get a chance to play this season.”

The Coach then went on to talk about tomorrow’s opponents, as well as Casemiro, Mesut Ozil and Raphael Varane.

“The game tomorrow won’t be easy. Athletic have won their first two games.

“They’ve got a Coach I know well, he’s serious, professional. It won’t be easy, but our aim is to start playing well. We need to give 100 per cent and I think tomorrow is a good game for that.

“There’s a lot of competition where Casemiro plays. Alonso is injured, Illarramendi will be ready to play. Casemiro has had a great pre-season, that’s true.

“He’s brimming with confidence, playing well and scoring. He’s young and with youngsters you have to be careful to give them just the right amount of time and not too much responsibility. His position is one with a lot of responsibility. He’s doing well.

“We’ve lacked rhythm in the first couple of games, especially going forward. But against Granada the whole team gave a great defensive performance, which is important.

Varane’s got an individual recovery plan. We need to be careful with him, because the operation on his knee wasn’t straightforward. He’s recovering on his own and I hope he’ll back training with us after the international break.

I don’t think Ozil will leave. It’s to be expected that a player isn’t happy when he’s substituted. It’s not the first time he’s come off and nor will it be the last. It can happen. A player who starts might not play the full 90.”

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