Carlo Ancelotti reveals Real Madrid’s plan to cope with Casemiro exit

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted the club are strong enough to cope without midfielder Casemiro, who is on the cusp of joining Manchester United.

The Brazilian is keen to test himself in the Premier League after winning everything there is to win during his time with Real, and personal terms have been agreed with United over a deal which could be worth €70m.

Reports in Spain have linked Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes to Real as a possible replacement for Casemiro – something manager Eddie Howe is prepared to fight against – but Ancelotti has stressed that Real already have ‘the resources’ to replace the 30-year-old.

“We have spare parts that can play there,” Ancelotti said. “[Aurelien] Tchouameni has played in that position. He is one of the best midfielders on the market. [Toni] Kroos can also play here, like in my second year here.

“Replacing Casemiro with his characteristics is not easy but there are others with different characteristics. In my teams, [Andrea] Pirlo played there, for example.

“Defensively, Tchouameni is more similar than Kroos to Case, but Toni can play there.

“We have six midfielders if he leaves. With him, it was seven. Six is enough to handle the whole season, which is very, very good.”

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When challenged with previous comments from Kroos about his reluctance to play as a defensive midfielder, Ancelotti said: “He hasn’t told me that he doesn’t want to play there. Even if he tells me, he won’t care. He’ll play the same.”

Tchouameni started in the Casemiro role in the season-opening 2-1 win over Almeria at the weekend and the Frenchman is likely to be given the chance to step up and become a permanent starter.

“He’s ready to play for Madrid,” Ancelotti said of the young Frenchman. “He has to improve, but he’s a good footballer. Good feet, he presses high. He’s not Casemiro, but he’s a great player.”

Kroos himself also did his best to alleviate the pressure on Tchouameni, adding: “I’m not going to tell Tchouameni to play like Casemiro. He’s young and ready to play for Real Madrid.”


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