Ancelotti praises Bellingham but hails Real Madrid midfield options amid transfer speculation

Carlo Ancelotti expressed satisfaction with his current midfield options amid reports Real Madrid are the frontrunners to sign Jude Bellingham.

Madrid are said to be leading the race to prise Bellingham, who shone for England at the World Cup last month, from Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham started all five of England's matches at Qatar 2022, which ended in quarter-final defeat to France, scoring and assisting one goal from central midfield.

Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are also said to have an interest in his services, but the latest speculation suggests it is Madrid who are poised to add him to a midfield that already includes young France internationals Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni and Uruguay star Federico Valverde.

Asked about the talk about acquiring Bellingham, Ancelotti told a press conference: "Bellingham has proven to be a great midfielder at the World Cup, like others.

"There are many young people, Enzo [Fernandez], Pedri and Gavi... There are many young midfielders that are coming out and Bellingham is one of them.

"But I keep my midfield, which is very good. Tchouameni, Camavinga, Valverde... We have a lot of young people here."

Jude Bellingham touch map
Jude Bellingham touch map

Ancelotti was speaking ahead of Madrid's LaLiga clash with Villarreal on Saturday, their second league game since the resumption of the season following the World Cup.

Madrid faced Cacereno in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday, winning 1-0, and face a Supercopa de Espana semi-final with Valencia next Wednesday.

"Tomorrow a fresh team will play, most of those who did not play against Cacereno," added Ancelotti.

"It is a team that is approaching last year's team. After that, each game I will choose who is better. The Supercopa is a very important title for us and I will try to get the best team."

He was also speaking following the death of former Sampdoria, Juventus, Chelsea and Italy striker Gianluca Vialli.

Both Ancelotti and Vialli were part of the Italy squad that finished third at the 1990 World Cup on home soil.

"It's a very sad day for me," said Ancelotti. "My dear friend has passed away. May he rest in peace."