Ancelotti: Madrid are ‘complete’ without Mbappé



Carlo Ancelotti said that his Real Madrid squad is already “complete” — even without the addition of Kylian Mbappé — after their 2-0 friendly win over Manchester United in Houston on Wednesday.

Madrid’s €103 million ($115m) new arrival Jude Bellingham opened the scoring early at the AT&T Stadium with a cool finish, before another summer signing Joselu added a second with a spectacular overhead kick.

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Ancelotti has repeatedly said that he is happy with his squad, despite the departure of long-term No. 9 Karim Benzema, and ongoing links with Mbappé, frozen out by Paris Saint-Germain as the row over his future continues.

“The squad is fine,” Ancelotti said on Wednesday. “We won’t have problems with the squad. A problem would be having a squad without quality … The squad is great. It’s complete.”

When asked specifically about Mbappé, the Italian responded with a blunt “Next question.”

The victory over United means Madrid have won both of their preseason U.S. friendlies so far, after a 3-2 comeback win over AC Milan at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on Sunday.

The LaLiga giants have added Bellingham, Joselu, Arda Guler, Fran Garcia and Brahim Diaz to their squad this summer.

“Bellingham’s [goal] shows the quality he has,” Ancelotti said. “He times his runs from deep well. [Antonio] Rudiger gave him a fantastic pass and he scored. And Joselu’s is a goal that you don’t see often.”

Mbappé is training with PSG’s reserves after being left out of their tour of Japan, with the French club looking to put pressure on the forward to either extend his contract beyond next summer, or move now, rather than leaving on a free transfer.

With Joselu the only natural centre forward in the Madrid squad for now, Ancelotti has been trialling a new 4-4-2 formation with a front two of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes.

“It’s going well,” he said. “I think Vinicius is adapting. He likes playing inside a bit more… Rodrygo and Vinicius are very dangerous with the ball. We can be more direct in transitions, and Bellingham’s quality helps with that.”

Madrid will play Barcelona in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, and then Juventus in Orlando, Florida on August 2, before flying back from the U.S. ahead of the new LaLiga season.

Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gündogan said that though he understood that the final decision was up to Mbappé, he would welcome the competition.

“Wherever he is gonna be I think to play against him is a joy,” Gündogan told ESPN. “You know that to face these kinds of players, you have to be at your best to beat them. So It is just about the competition.

“This is a decision that he personally has to make. But I am sure there are Clásicos that we are going to play that they all will be, in terms of intensity and quality, they will all be amazing to watch, so I can’t wait.”



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