Carlo Ancelotti has dropped the biggest hint yet that Angel di Maria has a future at Real Madrid, perhaps scuppering possible moves to Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain, according to ESPN.
The arrivals of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez fuelled speculation that the Argentinean could leave, but Ancelotti insists the signings act as competition which will be beneficial for his squad.
“With the signings of Rodriguez and Kroos there is more competition in the centre of the pitch, but that's how it is at the big clubs. Competition is energy and last season we had problems in the final part of the season," he said.
When asked specifically about Di Maria, the Italian boss stated at a press conference that: "He (Di Maria) is a Real Madrid player. He will arrive (at training) on August 5.”
Too good to let go
Despite the speculation linking the 26-year-old with a move away from the Bernabeu, it is of little surprise that Ancelotti wants to keeps hold of the exciting Argentine. The idea of selling one of your star performers seems absurd.
Di Maria was a revelation last season when moved infield from his more familiar right wing position, and was arguably Madrid’s second-best player behind Cristiano Ronaldo, with four goals and 17 assists in La Liga.
The two latest signings join Di Maria, Luka Modric, Isco, Xabi Alonso, Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira in a very packed Real Madrid midfield.
But having such a squad, rich in quality and depth will no doubt serve its purpose over the course of the season.
Having won the Champions League and Spanish Cup, Ancelotti’s side will be competing for six trophies, with the Club World Cup, Supercopa Espana and the European Supercup all up for grabs in the coming season.
"We won two titles and that was very important for us. This season the squad is even more competitive and we have the desire and dream of winning titles," Ancelotti added.
"This year we will be able to do better and I'm really confident because last season we had to work a lot on forming the team and installing a style of play. We can start better than last season because we had problems initially as we didn't adapt to the playing system."
No need to sell
Given Real Madrid’s mass and numerous revenue streams, they are not in a position where selling players is a necessity. Kroos and Rodriguez shirts are flying off the shelves, and Los Blancos will no doubt have another successful year financially.
The Italian’s biggest task will be keeping his star-studded squad happy. He managed task with Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas, but will have to work even harder this season to retain squad harmony; it’s a nice problem for Ancelotti to have.