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Ancelotti: “After Casemiro leaves we’ll still have six midfielders, that’s enough”

The coach offered more details about Casemiro’s departure.

UD Almeria v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s the big story of the day, or even of the entire summer, and Carlo Ancelotti confirmed in his press conference that Casemiro will leave Real Madrid. The coach stated: “I talked to Casemiro this morning. He wants to try a new challenge, a new opportunity. I and the club understand it. With what he’s done at this club and the person he is, we have to respect it. There are talks right now, nothing is official, but he wants to leave. After hearing that he wants to leave, there’s no way back. If an agreement is reached and he leaves, we need to wish him the best.”

Ancelotti on finding out about Casemiro’s departure

The rest of the press conference then saw Ancelotti offer several more answers related to the exit of the Brazilian. He was asked how and when he found out about the possibility and explained: “I read about it and saw the rumours. Then I realised yesterday that it could happen. Everyone understands it, including the players, because there is so much respect for him. So, when he wants to try a new challenge, we have to understand it with as much respect and affection as possible. I understand it. A similar thing happened to me when I left AC Milan, where I was comfortable and it felt like a family. But sometimes you want to try a new league, country and language.”

Ancelotti on replacing Casemiro

The next big question is how to replace the midfielder. On this, the coach said: “I am confident with or without Casemiro, even if we all understand how important he has been. He was so important in that combination with Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos. But, if he does leave, we have resources to cover this. We’ll still have six midfielders in Modrić, Kroos, Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Valverde and Ceballos. I think six is enough to manage the whole season. These are six very very good players.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni and Kroos in the No.6

Speaking in a bit more depth about Tchouaméni and Kroos, the Italian said: “We already have replacements in the squad who can play in that position. Tchouaméni has been signed for that position. He’ll need to improve positionally, but he has quality. He is young, but he is ready. Tchouaméni, for his defensive abilities, is the closest to Casemiro, but Kroos, who is totally different to Casemiro, can play there too. I remember we won 22 matches in a row in my second year with him in that position. We have Camavinga, who has played in that position last year. We can’t replace the characteristics of Casemiro, but we have players with different characteristics. Others with different characteristics can play in that position too. I remember Andrea Pirlo playing there, who is very different to Casemiro.”

Ancelotti on convincing Kroos to play defensive midfield

One journalist brought up a quote from Kroos about how he doesn’t love the No.6 role and asked Ancelotti if it’ll be difficult to convince the German. He seemed surprised and replied: “He hasn’t told me that he doesn’t like it. Maybe he has told others, but he hasn’t told me that. Even if he does tell me that, that wouldn’t change anything.”

Ancelotti on facing Celta Vigo

The coach confirmed that Casemiro won’t be in Real Madrid’s squad for the trip to Vigo, whether or not the transfer to Manchester United is confirmed by then. Speaking about Saturday’s game, he added: “It’ll be a different kind of game to the Almería one, as Celta Vigo have better resources. It is always difficult there. We were able to edge a win there last year and that was key in winning the title. We’ll fight to win and keep up our momentum.”

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