Real Madrid will face AS Roma in the International Champions Cup today and coach Julen Lopetegui spoke in press conference about the game but also about the latest rumors around the club. Is Mateo Kovacic refusing to train with the squad in Madrid? Does Modric want to leave? Will Madrid make more signings?
“I really couldn’t say I’ve seen anything to suggest Kovacic has been rebelling. He’s trained as normal with his teammates, there’s been no problem. I love him as a player and we’re thrilled to have him with us. As a coach, I’m absolutely convinced by the quality of player we have here,” said Lopetegui. Kovacic told MARCA this summer that he wanted to leave Real Madrid to find minutes as a starter elsewhere, and knowing that he won’t have that kind of role for Lopetegui either, Madrid will need to find an answer.
“The president was clear and unequivocal in that regard. We’re in no doubt at all that Modric is going to continue playing for us just as he has to this point and that he’ll continue to be a wonderful asset for us. I speak to my players when I deem it necessary but they are private conversations,” explained Lopetegui when asked about whether he had a talk with Modric or not.
Real Madrid are expected to complete the signing of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois very soon but Lopetegui did not confirm that Los Blancos will indeed make more signings this summer.
“Matters I discuss with the club remain private. We’re all working in harmony, I’ve already made my feelings clear about the squad. We’re aware one of the biggest names in Real Madrid history has gone. I view this as an opportunity to take a step forward as a team,” said the coach.
Brazilian wonder kid Vinicius Jr has completed a fine pre-season stage in the United States. However, Lopetegui isn’t ready to say if he will have a spot in this year’s roster or not.
“He’s a very young lad, with an awful lot of talent, hunger and desire and we’re delighted with him. He’s on a very good track and I have absolute faith in him, we’ll monitor his progress closely because we like him very much,” concluded Lopetegui.