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Carlo Ancelotti: "Varane Is Available"

Carlo Ancelotti and Iker Casillas spoke on Real Madrid's press room about the passing of Luis Aragonés and the match against Athletic Bilbao.

Denis Doyle

Spanish coach Luis Aragónes passed away this Friday night. Iker Casillas wanted to say a few words about the coach who changed Spain's history by winning the 2008 Eurocup.

Luis Aragonés was very clear. What he did he did it for the good of Spanish football.

After that, Carlo Ancelotti explained that Gareth Bale will miss the match against Bilbao.

Gareth is not available. He has not trained this week. But his worked on the gym today was fantastic and he will be available against Atlético Madrid. He doesn't need another preseason. He needs to regain some confidence. I'm not worried about him, but I am not going to play him if there's risk of an injury.

Asked about how the team will replace Gareth Bale, Ancelotti said he has two options.

One of those options is Jesé, and the other one would be playing Di María on the right wing and leaving his spot to Asier Illarramendi in that midfield three.

To play with Illarramendi in the midfield would make a lot of sense. San Mamés is a really tough stadium and Athletic Bilbao will surely be a threat. It might be safer to play with Illarra in the midfield.

Jesé doesn't have to earn anything. His role is very clear and everybody is happy.

About Athletic Bilbao, Ancelotti said the following.

I like the way they play. Valverde is doing a great job and they play dynamic football. They're really dangerous. I don't think there's a way to win in San Mamés if you don't give your best. We need to play at 100%.

A Portuguese reported asked him about Coentrao and Casemiro. Apparently, there were rumors of those two players leaving the club before the winter transfer window was closed yesterday.

We were very clear with Coentrao. He's not going anywhere. We didn't think about it. Casemiro is not playing much but he's happy and he wants to stay because he believes he has room for improvement.

He also confirmed Raphäel Varane is on the team's list.

Yes, Varane is on the list. We need to be careful with him. The knee has responded very well. But he can't play every three days just yet.

The new Santiago Bernabéu was announced yesterday, and here's what Ancelotti had to say about it.

It is fantastic. I would like to enjoy it.

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