Ancelotti: Di Maria issue is over

Carlo Ancelotti has excused Angel Di Maria after his gesture on Monday, but has claimed that he will not start against Osasuna.

The Argentine winger had caused controversy after cupping his genitals when coming off against Celta Vigo on Monday.

Some had claimed that it was in response to the Santiago Bernabeu fans jeering the wide man – something that he has denied.

Ancelotti though, has called for the issue to be over, and now wants to focus on the Copa del Rey clash with Osasuna.

“The player has given his explanations and we need to believe what he’s said. If someone thought it was a rude gesture, he’s apologised and the matter ends here because the player has been called up to play and he won’t have any problems in the Bernabéu,” the Coach told reporters.

“The fans demand a lot of the players but they also show them a lot of affection and there won’t be any problems. This issue has to disappear soon, because we need Di María this season.

“He won’t start tomorrow because I’m going to play someone fresher. He’s fine to play and he’s happy here. He’s relaxed, he’s got a good relationship with his teammates and he’s keen to have a good season. He won’t play, but not for that reason.

“Playing at home is easier than away. Osasuna gave us a torrid time in the League and it’ll be tough. For us the competition is very important and tomorrow we need to get something for the second leg.”

The Italian the commented on Luka Modric’s form, his favoured right-back and Lionel Messi’s return.

“[Modric] has improved in his consistency. He’s confident and he knows he’s important for us. He can still get better because he’s got quality.

“I don’t have a favourite [right-back]. Both are doing fabulously, both Arbeloa and Carvajal. I’m going to rotate them, because they are equally good.

“It’s important to keep them both fresh because I ask a lot of that position. I hope Coentrao comes back so I can rest Marcelo. It’s important to rotate.

“It’s good for [Barcelona] and for the Spanish League, to get back a great player. For us it increases the competition, because Barça is one team with Messi and a different one without him, though they’ve managed to maintain their advantage.

“If we win on Sunday, we’ll cut the gap [on someone] because I don’t think Atlético and Barcelona can both win.”

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