‘Kovacic will be great for Madrid’

Rafa Benitez has welcomed Real Madrid’s signing of Mateo Kovacic and discussed David De Gea, Sergio Ramos and Marco Asensio, among others.

Benitez was speaking to reporters after Madrid beat Galatasaray in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu, the match played hours after Kovacic’s move from Inter was confirmed.

“He’s a quality player. The team suffered last year when Luka Modric was injured,” Benitez pointed out, AS reports.

“He’s not a typical defensive midfielder. He offers quality. He goes forward, he’s dynamic, uses the ball well. He’s not frightened by responsibilities and that makes him a great player for Madrid.

“Logically there will be a debate over Gareth Bale, Isco, James Rodriguez…We’re looking for a rapport between them.

“Isco and James play between the lines. Gareth doesn’t, he creates space and looks to get beyond the defence.

“If he had scored tonight people would say he had a good game. Analyse the movements he makes because he gives a lot of respite to the team.

“More signings? I work with what I’ve got and for other issues, talk to Jose Angel Sanchez and the President.

“I’m very happy with my forwards and if we score goals against Sporting, there’ll be no debate. I think we have a lot of quality and we’ll see how the results are, and we don’t have to answer this question until after August 31.

“Karim Benzema and Pepe are doing well [in their recovery from injury]. We’ll shorten their deadlines and see if they can be involved or not.

“Jese is doing very good work. Everything he creates is, for me, a positive. It shows he has the chance to do well.

“Asier Illarramendi is a subject to discuss with the club. I understand why you ask. In football, anything can happen until August 31. I have a good squad and the players here will be committed.

“If they’re not then I wish them the best. I have no complaints at the moment.”

Benitez then moved on to discuss Ramos, who this week signed a new contract after extensive flirtations with Manchester United, as well as De Gea, who remains at Old Trafford, and Asensio, who was left out of the squad.

“Marco has a lot of talent and quality and it’s a shame he’s not getting more minutes,” Benitez said of the youngster, who has been linked with a loan exit.

“I’ve talked to him and told him he should be playing, so he can come back to us a better player.

“Sergio’s new deal is very important. He’s charismatic on and off the field. He’ll help us with the emotional side of our game and he has character.

“Keylor Navas had a great game and I have three great goalkeepers. I’m delighted with all three and I’m working with them to the fullest.”

Tags David De Gea Marco Asensio Mateo Kovacic Rafa Benitez Sergio Ramos