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Dec 7, 2012

Karanka keeping quiet on Mourinho talk

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka believes the rumours surrounding Jose Mourinho's future at the club are not worth commenting on.

• Blog: End of road for Mourinho

Recent speculation in Spain has been swirling over how long Mourinho has left in Madrid, with talk of the Portuguese swapping jobs with current Paris Saint-Germain manager Carlo Ancelotti emerging. However, the former Blancos defender says there is no truth to such stories.

"I believe these are just rumours," Karanka said. "Any coach would like to manage Real Madrid. PSG's owner has already said that there is nothing with Mourinho."

Karanka has also refused to answer questions about whether he might follow his boss out of the Bernabeu.

"I will think about my future when the coach says what his future is," he said. "My future at the moment is here with him. We are fed up saying it, we do not comment on rumours. I have been with him for two-and-a-half years. If we took notice of every rumour there has been, we would not have had time for anything else."

Madrid's opponents on Saturday, Real Valladolid, have climbed to seventh in the La Liga standings with last Monday's 2-1 win at Sevilla, and have impressed under former Deportivo la Coruna sweeper Miroslav Djukic.

Karanka believes Djukic's side could make things difficult but Madrid, eleven points behind leaders Barcelona in the table, need to win the game.

"Valladolid are a tough opponent," he said. "Although they have come up recently they are having a good season. They play good football. Their coach is getting his idea of the game across. We are just thinking about getting the three points."

Mourinho's main selection decision ahead of the game is at full-back, with Fabio Coentrao unavailable, after straining a thigh muscle in Tuesday's 4-1 Champions League group win over Ajax, and Marcelo and Raul Albiol also currently sidelined.

Madrid Castilla youngster Nacho trained with the senior squad on Friday, and could play in either full-back position, with Rafael Varane another option to start at centre-half, if Sergio Ramos moves to right-back.

Another possible starter is on-loan Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who has recovered from an allergy and looks set to make his first match-day squad since the 2-1 win at Levante in early November.

Karanka says no decision has yet been made on the starting eleven for the game at the Nuevo Estadio Jose Zorrilla.

"We are looking at different alternatives," he said.

Karanka is also non-committal over the possibility of Madrid delving into the transfer market in January.

"The squad is what it is, but I could not say 100 per cent that nothing will happen," he said. "We put it together at the start of the season and we want to keep it until the end. But you can never say 100 per cent because it does not fully depend on us."

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