MADRID, Spain, September 1 – Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has denied that Gareth Bale’s prolonged move from Tottenham Hotspur has been a frustration as he prepares his side to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
It had been hoped that the Welshman could even have been in the squad to face Bilbao had his potentially world record breaking move been confirmed earlier in the week.
However, Ancelotti claimed he has been concentrating on preparing the players who are at his disposal for the game and will be just as happy with his squad if Monday night’s transfer deadline passes without a new arrival to the club.
“Everyone knows Bale, he is a fantastic player,” Ancelotti told a press conference on Saturday.
“In this moment he is a Tottenham player, I don’t know how long he will be but he is today.
“I’m working with my players every day and my mind is not in the players that are not here. We have to work and train so for me it is absolutely not frustrating.
“I am happy to train with the players I have and if another one comes I will be just as happy.”
Ancelotti did though confirm that Real are looking to accelerate Kaka’s departure from the club after he made clear his intention to leave earlier in the week.
The former World Player of the Year has been strongly liked with a return to AC Milan, but it is thought the player’s wage demands and any transfer fee Madrid may demand could be a stumbling block.
“I think that Kaka was clear in what he said to the press the other day,” said Ancelotti.
“The club understands his decision. I think that in the next few days the club and Kaka will look for a solution that is positive for both parties.”
The Italian though laughed off suggestions that club captain Iker Casillas could also leave before Monday’s deadline despite being benched in favour of Diego Lopez for Real’s first two league games of the season.
Ancelotti confirmed that Lopez will also be in goal for the visit of Athletic but said Casillas will get his opportunity at some point in the season.
“The goalkeeper tomorrow will be Diego Lopez. Diego is playing well, is in good condition and is calm.
“Casillas deserves my respect as the captain. I spoke with him before the first match and I wanted to explain the situation. I don’t think he will go, he has not said anything to me about this.
“I am going to take a decision soon to give Casillas his opportunity to play.”