Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has moved to reaffirm the important that Fabio Coentrao has to to his team, amid intense speculation that Manchester United hope to sign the Portugal international before the transfer deadline.
Coentrao made his first start for Madrid in almost two months during the victory over Osasuna in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday evening, with Los Blancos triumphing 2-0 courtesy of goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel di Maria.
The 25-year-old received a straight red card late in the encounter at El Sadar but, despite kicking out at Roberto Torres, Ancelotti was pleased with the performance of Coentrao.
"It was an unlucky sending off," Ancelotti told reporters. "He played very well offensively and defensively.
"He is really focused and is important for us. He did not make mistakes after a long time without playing. We have to value how he played."
Manchester United have been credited with interest in Coentrao for some time, with the Premier League champions having made an attempt to sign the former Benfica full-back during the summer transfer period.
A renewed approach for the player this month has been mooted although David Moyes may have to pay £20 million in order to bring him to Old Trafford.