Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Athletic de Bilbao have made an official offer to sign Asier Illarramendi, but the player has decided to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
When asked about the player’s situation in the press conference prior to Real Sociedad’s match, Ancelotti said Illarra will start on Saturday against his former club and also explained the Athletic situation: “They made an offer, but he’s comfortable and happy at Real Madrid. He assessed the situation and decided he would like to stay, and myself and the club are happy with that. He hasn’t played much but he has always done well.”
The Italian manager also commented on the chances of new signing Lucas Silva making his debut with Madrid: “He’s made it in the squad because he’s in good shape, and although he’s not completely fit, he might get some minutes of play.”
Speaking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence and how it will affect the strategy, Ancelotti explained “Gareth Bale will play on the left side, but nothing else will change. We will display a 4-4-2 in defense and a 4-3-3 in attack, with James Rodriguez playing forward.”
Carletto admitted the team needs to change the attitude they showed in Cordoba: “We need to be more intense and exert a higher defensive pressure. We left too many spaces in Cordoba and allowed many counter-attacks. We have to improve in that sense.”