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Ancelotti: “A Camavinga and Tchouaméni double pivot could be an idea for the future”

All the quotes from the coach’s pre-derby press conference.

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Ahead of Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash with Atlético Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti previewed the game in a press conference. There, he said: “As is always the case with a derby, we need to prepare this in a special way as we are playing a strong team. We want to be in the semi-finals, but we know we’re facing a strong opponent and it’ll be tough. Atlético are getting better. We’re excited because we’ll be back home after more than two months away. David Alaba is back available, but we’re still without Aurélien Tchouaméni, Eden Hazard, Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vázquez.”

Ancelotti on benching Kroos and Modrić

Asked how Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić have responded to being benched in Bilbao, Ancelotti said: “They are professionals and they understand everything. They know we have a great squad, I don’t have to explain that to them even though I did speak with them about this at the start of the season. This is a moment of transition and everyone needs to understand that, both the youngsters and the veterans. They do all understand that, just as they did last season.”

Ancelotti on Camavinga’s position

Asked about how Eduardo Camavinga has been performing during his extended stretch in the team and asked about the Frenchman’s best position, Ancelotti said: “He is a modern midfielder who can cover the position in between the two centre-backs well. He was excellent against Athletic because he played really well tactically and defensively. Playing him and Tchouaméni together as a double pivot could work out well. They’d both bring energy and quality in bringing the ball out. That could be a good idea for the future.”

Ancelotti on Fede Valverde’s form

Discussing Fede Valverde and the fact he hasn’t been playing so well since the World Cup, the Italian said: “He hasn’t reached his top level yet, but we just have to be patient. We don’t just ask Valverde to score goals. We ask him to contribute all through the defence and attack.”

Ancelotti on signing Fran García

There is a good chance that Fran García could be back at Real Madrid one day, with recent reports suggesting the left-back could even be resigned this window. But, Ancelotti denied that, stating: “The squad is finalised until June. Then, at the end of this season, we’ll take such decisions.”

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