Carlo Ancelotti: No moves planned
Carlo Ancelotti said he still believes Xabi Alonso will sign a new contract at Real Madrid, and expects Iker Casillas to remain at the club while playing only cup games until the end of the season.
Alonso, 32, is free to talk to new potential employers outside Spain as he has now entered the last six months of his Madrid contract, with conflicting mid-negotiation leaks and reports in the local media claiming he is either keen to extend his current deal or close to signing for Serie A giants Juventus.
Meanwhile Casillas, also 32, has been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu this January to ensure he plays regular football ahead of next summer’s World Cup, with Diego Lopez being Ancelotti’s preferred choice for all La Liga matches.
Speaking to Madrid’s official website after Thursday afternoon’s 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Qatar, the Italian coach said he did not believe there was any reason for Blancos fans to be concerned about either issue.
"About Xabi Alonso we believe that in the end we will find a solution and the club and the player will reach an agreement," Ancelotti said. "The case of Casillas is very clear: he will play in the Champions League and also in the Copa del Rey."
Reports in Spain have suggested that Madrid might be busy in January’s transfer market, with reportedly unsettled winger Angel Di Maria perhaps leaving for Monaco, and a new striker or midfielder arriving at the Bernabeu. But Ancelotti said he did not expect his club to do any business in the current window.
"There is nothing new in that field," he said. "No players are going to leave, and we are not going to sign anybody. For us the market is closed."
Young Madrid attacker Jese Rodriguez scored the exhibition game’s only goal, finishing coolly after being sent clear by a superb pass from another youngster Alvaro Morata, while PSG attacker Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic spurned a number of chances to get on the scoresheet in a game which fizzled out after the break.
"It was not easy to play after the holidays and being stopped for a week," Ancelotti said. "Real Madrid played well, and the game was worth playing. PSG were at a good level."
Both coaches emptied their benches at half-time, with neither team appearing to pick up any serious injuries and Ancelotti giving run-outs to youth-teamers including Jose Rodriguez, Jorge Casado and Jaime.
"The players are happy with the minutes they played," the former PSG boss said. “Everyone wants to play more, but for us it is important that when they play they do well. They are doing that.”
Gareth Bale did not feature as he remained in Madrid for further treatment on a calf problem, a surprise as the Welsh winger had been expected to return from the recent winter break fit and ready to play.