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Carlo Ancelotti plays down left-back rumours and backs Ferland Mendy – ‘He’s a very strong defender’

  /  autty

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has edged away from the idea of signing another left-back this summer, despite growing speculation over the position.

Los Blancos have already agreed a deal to sign Fran Garcia back from Rayo Vallecano this summer, and there have been links to Alphonso Davies and Andy Robertson in recent days. On the other side of that coin, for months it has been reported that Real Madrid may look to cash in on Ferland Mendy, who has missed most of the season with injury.

Carlo Ancelotti told the press that “what we have to do, we are going to do to improve.”

The Italian was reluctant to admit where they would be looking at making those improvements.

“It hasn’t been a problem of the forwards because we have been the team with the highest number of goals scored in the league but we have lacked solidity. Based on the statistics, they lie a little, we should sign a defender.”

One of the holes that made need filling is the place occupied by Nacho Fernandez. The veteran defender has an offer on the table from Real Madrid, and has performed admirably as back-up extraordinaire across the backline for a decade now. Ancelotti said that the club was waiting on Nacho to make up his mind.

“I think he understands that I think about it, the future is in his hands. We know that he can still contribute a lot to us, I think the club has spoken with him but they are thinking of the best for him. In a week the season ends and things will be clearer.”

On Mendy, Ancelotti backed the Frenchman. His reputation has been done plenty of damage by absence, which has forced the Italian manager to reshuffle. Yet he feels that he will be an asset going forward.

“The problem has been Mendy’s significant injury that has created problems for us. But we have to have confidence in him because he is a very strong defender. We don’t have to do many things in defence because he’s fine.”

The 27-year-old has oft been criticised for his lack of offensive production for Real Madrid, but there is little doubt that they missed his defensive solidity this season. If it is more solidity at the back that Ancelotti seeks, then they are unlikely to find a better pure defender on the market. That said, having Dani Carvajal and Mendy on opposite sides, both being more defensively gifted than with the ball, it leaves Los Blancos somewhat shorter than they would like in attack.