Real Madrid are not planning to cash in on any of their top stars this summer as assistant coach Paul Clement played down rumours that Xabi Alonso—among others—will leave the Bernabeu, while Radamel Falcao isn't any closer to joining.
As far as we know at this stage everyone will be with us for this season. Things can very quickly change - the window doesn’t close until the end of this month. But currently we have 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers, so it is not a big, big squad. I can’t see too much movement because that is not a large squad.
Alonso had created doubt in the Spanish capital after returning to the squad this summer reportedly lacking in match fitness and underweight.
Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC cited Spanish newspaper El Confidencial (in Spanish) in reporting the rumours, with an exit from the club mooted:
Madrid apparently willing to let go Arbeloa [maybe to Napoli] and Xabi Alonso [no destination mentioned] http://t.co/FP8X6R7Dvf— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) August 11, 2014
The Daily Mail's Elliott Bretland referenced the same source, noting that Ancelotti thought Alonso showed "little strength" in training, a worry considering his deeper-lying role demands a physical presence.
With the 2014-15 season on the horizon, Ancelotti will be eager to have his squad prepared well in advance, and he warded teams off Sami Khedira this week, per Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail. The Italian noted:
"He’s not leaving, he’s a Real Madrid player. He has a contract until June 30, 2015 and that’s all there is to say."
Alonso will also have £20 million man Toni Kroos to contend with this season, along with Luka Modric, so his place as an automatic starter may no longer be as certain.
Nevertheless, it appears there are no plans at this stage to sell the former Liverpool star.
Should Real be chasing Falcao this summer?
Meanwhile, Los Blancos target Falcao says his priorities are currently focused on Monaco matters, hinting to Colombian radio station Caracol (h/t Sky Sports) that he's not thinking about a move to Real:
I am better, my knee is improving very well and I well on the pitch. I'm focused on this season. I want to recover well and help the team achieve. I am only thinking about getting back to my best and nothing else.
The report claimed Madrid have a first-option clause with the striker, who would provide competition for Karim Benzema after the Frenchman recently extended his contract by another five years.
Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC buys into such claims and believes a move to the Bernabeu has been little more than a formality since Falcao left Real's bitter local rivals Atletico:
That being said, Johnson also proclaimed that he doesn't believe Ancelotti's side need the hitman at present:
Monaco have already sold Falcao's Colombian compatriot James Rodriguez to the European champions, but as long as the forward remains happy to fight on for their cause, the French giants are under no dire need to cash in.
Should Falcao begin to pursue an exit more vigorously, retaining his services could become a difficult issue for Monaco, but until then, both clubs will aim to progress with their calendars as though it's business as usual.