Madrid – Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has reaffirmed that none of his players will be leaving during the January transfer window despite reported interest from Premier League leaders Arsenal in Alvaro Morata.
The Spanish under-21 international striker has made just one league start this season, but with Karim Benzema the only other recognised centre forward available to Ancelotti, the Italian is keen to retain Morata.
“He doesn't lack anything, his only problem is the competition for places. This is Real Madrid,” he said on Saturday.
“I have not spoken with him and there is nothing to speak about. No one has asked for him and, if a team did come in for him, the answer would be a clear no. He is staying.”
With league leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid facing off against each other on Saturday night, Real can cut the five-point gap on their title rivals when they travel to Espanyol on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Diego Lopez is the only injury doubt for Los Blancos due to a stomach problem so Iker Casillas may keep his place after starting the 2-0 win over Osasuna in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.
And Ancelotti said Angel di Maria was available for selection after not being punished by the club for grabbing his crotch as he was substituted in Real's last league outing against Celta Vigo.
“He is fine. He is free to play, but we still have to decide if he will. Physically and mentally is in good condition and he is fresh because he didn't play against Osasuna.
“We can cut the distance to Atletico or Barcelona and for us that it is very important to finish the first half of the season with a victory.
“Espanyol are not an easy team and at home they are very dangerous.” – Sapa-AFP