Ancelotti blocks Coentrao & Di Maria sales

The Real Madrid boss has reassured the duo that they have a future at the Santiago Bernabeu despite the imminent arrival of Gareth Bale, with Pepe also set to stay put

By Duncan Castles

Real Madrid are to resist Arsenal and Tottenham approaches to sign Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao respectively, following a personal intervention by coach Carlo Ancelotti, Goal understands.

The pair had looked to be heading for the Santiago Bernabeu exit following an unsettled summer at the club, with their sales also providing funds for Real’s imminent capture of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

Ancelotti, however, has stepped in to convince both that their future is in Madrid, scuppering the two deals.

Unhappy with his status within the Liga club, Coentrao had been touted for an exit from Madrid all summer with Monaco offering a pay rise in French football, and former club Benfica exploring the possibility of a return on loan.

Tottenham came close to landing the 25-year-old, with manager Andre Villas-Boas targeting the Portugal international as left-back in his new-look team – even though the proposed financial terms of the €17 million deal had prompted some consternation within the London club.

However, following talks with the coach in the last 24 hours, Coentrao is now set to extend his stay on an improved contract at a club he joined for €30m two years ago.
Also originally recruited from Benfica by Jose Mourinho, Di Maria has been sounded out by Arsenal after Madrid informally placed the Argentina international on the transfer market last month.

Again, Ancelotti intervened to keep the winger at the club, regardless of Bale’s proposed €100 million recruitment, leaving Wenger short of transfer options with the close of the window just over a day away.
The Italian coach has also blocked Manchester City’s sustained attempt to recruit Pepe, reassuring the Portugal international of his importance to Madrid’s first team and returning him to it.

An often controversial figure at the Bernabeu, the Brazil-born defender had welcomed the idea of moving to the Premier League having fallen out with Mourinho over team selections and grown tired of public criticism in Madrid – but now looks set to stay at the club, alongside Coentrao and Di Maria.

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