Benitez on Keylor, Casillas

Rafa Benitez expressed his ‘delight’ for Keylor Navas and denied ever telling Iker Casillas he didn’t have a place at Real Madrid,

Casillas left Santiago Bernabeu for Porto shortly after Benitez was appointed the Madrid Coach, and Navas almost went too in exchange for David De Gea, only for the transfer to collapse at the last minute.

“I never told Iker he wasn’t going to play. I had no problem with him. We have a very good relationship. We spoke in private and I won’t tell you what was said, but we have a great relationship and I wish him the best,” Marca quotes Benitez telling COPE and El Laguero.

“I’m delighted for Keylor and delighted with him. When it was possible he might leave I was calm because I knew whatever happened I would have a great goalkeeper.”

Benitez moved on to discuss a number of other players on the Madrid books, as well as Florentino Perez and the team as a whole.

“The President never says anything about the team selection. It’s up to the coaching staff,” Benitez explained.

“He wants Madrid to play well and win. He’s not an owner only interested in making money.

“We’re on track. The feelings transmitted are very good and I’m very calm. I think we’re on the right track and I’m very optimistic. I believe we’ll win more than one trophy.

“I thought Dani Carvajal’s injury was going to be shorter. It’s a shame.

“Mateo Kovacic? I knew enough about him. I wanted to sign him for Napoli. He’s a player with a great future.

“We brought Casemiro back because we needed that kind of player. He’s someone who listens.”

Benitez was also asked about old adversary Jose Mourinho, his predecessor at Chelsea, Inter and Madrid and who was involved in a row with his wife over the summer after tongue-in-cheek comments made.

“I didn’t have to talk [to Mourinho] and I’ve no interest in doing so,” he said of the current Blues boss.

“My wife is smart enough to know that the conversation with the reporter about Mourinho shouldn’t have been like that.”

Tags Iker Casillas Keylor Navas Porto Rafa Benitez
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