Carlo Ancelotti insists he has ‘total faith’ in Asier Illarramendi’s ability to perform in a Real Madrid jersey.
The Basque midfielder had been linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao earlier in the week, but the Coach, although falling short of confirming the 24-year-old would remain a Blanco after January, maintained he could still call upon his €32.2m man.
“There’s no news. He’s a Madrid player,” he told reporters on Friday.
“He hasn’t played much, but it doesn’t change our confidence in him, nor his importance in the dressing room.
“At the moment, we have no intention of selling Illarra. He’s a major player. We need team players who aren’t only motivated and professional, but also ready to play. He’s one of these.
“If you evaluate trust only by minutes, that the 11 players in a match are the only ones who are trusted, that’s no way to manage a team.
“Our faith in him is total. If I need him, I’ll pick him.”