Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti again batted away questions about rumoured galactico signings and told his pre-match press conference on Saturday that he was happy working with the stars he had.
Real won 4-1 away to Alaves on the opening weekend of La Liga and on Sunday visit Levante, who drew their opener at Cadiz.
But many of the questions he faced were about potential signings. After a while even Ancelotti began to lose patience.
“These are personnel issues, I don’t have to talk about it here,” he said.
Ancelotti dismissed a question about the possible return of Cristiano Ronaldo, with whom the coach won the Champions League and Club World Cup in a first stint at Real.
“The subject is finished,” Ancelotti said. “We look forward. Everyone at Real Madrid loves CR7. I love him even more, because CR7 has helped me win a lot of the titles I have won.”
Ancelotti sidestepped a question on whether Kylian Mbappe might be arriving from Paris Saint-Germain.
“I don’t know, really,” the Italian said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I have a very good squad, strong. I want to coach it. I’m very happy. I’m focused on the team I have.”
One question took a different tack, asking if the Real players were discussing Mbappe in the dressing room.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good,” Ancelotti said. “The players are motivated, focused on their work, on the games. They don’t talk about the mercato, they only talk about the games we have to play.”
“This squad, as it is, can compete for everything. We have very big stars here,” he said, naming Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal, Nacho, David Alaba, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard. “This squad is full of stars.”
But, he added, “the stars have to work together. Stars alone are stars. If they work together, they win titles.”
“If a player arrives at Real Madrid it is because he has technical and physical quality,” Ancelotti added. “The great player shows himself because he has the character, the personality of not being afraid.”
Ancelotti said Toni Kroos and Luka Modric would be absent, injured, at Levante while Carvajal would return.
“We want to repeat the game we played against Alaves,” Ancelotti said “It’s clear that we have to play a better first half, try to play with more intensity, more speed with the ball.”