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Ancelotti: “New signings? The squad is closed and it’s better than last year’s”

Real Madrid’s coach spoke about Rüdiger, Hazard, Asensio, Ceballos... in the mixed zone after Saturday’s defeat to Barcelona in the Las Vegas Clásico.

Las VegasUpdate:
Ancelotti: “New signings? The squad is closed and it’s better than last year’s”
FREDERIC J. BROWNAFP

With his usual self-restraint, Carlo Ancelotti attended the media after Saturday’s 0-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Las Vegas Clásico. He assured that David Alaba will remain in his central defender role in the new season(”I don’t want to change last year’s partner”), he was full of praise for Benzema, the great absentee from the night and settled rumours about more arrivals during the current transfer window, claiming that the squad he has now is better than the one he had last year.

Mixed zone

What are your feelings about Rüdiger playing left back? “I liked it a lot. I’m not crazy, and he’s very smart. In that position he can play, as well as change over with Alaba during the match. They didn’t do that today, because it worked well”.

Where will Alaba play? “On the left side... only when there is a need; I don’t want to change the central defensive pair from last year.”

What did you make Hazard playing as a false nine? “He can play in several positions, we saw it last year. He has the quality to be a false nine, but he has to get used to it”.

Hazard, against Barcelona in Las Vegas.
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Hazard, against Barcelona in Las Vegas.Stephen R. SylvanieUSA TODAY Sports

What plans do you have with Asensio and Ceballos? “They don’t worry me, of course, but the competition has increased. They’ve been good.”

Would the best thing for them to leave? “Ask the club”.

Do you want to be offered a renewal? “Ask the club”.

Do you need an extra striker? “The squad is closed and is better than last year’s. We have brought in two new players, who are going to contribute a lot. We have 27 players - that’s a lot, and training them is not easy, but the ones I have are intelligent and understand the difficulty I have”.

And what plans do you have with Mayoral? “He’s in the same situation as the rest. He will train and if he is ready to play, he will play”.

Benzema signs autographs in Los Angeles.
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Benzema signs autographs in Los Angeles.Javier RojasEFE

How is Benzema doing? “He will play 45 minutes against América. He will play more against Juventus, where I plan to use the team that will play the Super Cup”.

Don’t you have a substitute? “If he’s missing, the best in the world will be missing, there’s no one who can replace Karim, but someone else will play, we’ll play with eleven”.

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