Ancelotti plays down Real Madrid move for Pirlo

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Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has played down his side's chances of landing Chelsea and Tottenham transfer target Andrea Pirlo in the January window, according to reports in France.

The former-PSG boss has been linked with a move for Pirlo - a player he managed at AC Milan - but Ancelotti says he's happy with his central midfield options.

Chelsea and Tottenham have both been linked with the midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

But Ancelotti expects him to stay in Italy, and even if he did move, the Real Madrid boss admitted he's pleased with his squad as it stands despite Madrid's indifferent start to the season.

"Pirlo can play in any team, but here Xabi Alonso has great experience and [Asier] Illarramendi is a very promising young player," said Ancelotti.

"But every time I coach a team, his name [Pirlo] is associated, but in the end he's always Juventus."

Inter Milan were reportedly the latest club to join Spurs and Chelsea in the race for Pirlo, although Juve are believed to be keen to get a new contract sorted for the 34-year-old Italy international.

Juventus executive Giuseppe Marotta admitted earlier this month that while it's nice to hear the club's best players linked with Europe's top teams, he hopes Pirlo will stay.

"On the one hand it's nice to read or hear this because it means our players are good enough to be followed and observed by big clubs," said Marotta.

"But we want to keep them close to us."

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