Ancelotti scotches Camavinga exit talk: 'He's untouchable'

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Carlo Ancelotti emphatically ruled out the possibility of Eduardo Camavinga leaving Real Madrid following links with Arsenal and Chelsea.

The 20-year-old midfielder joined Los Blancos in August 2021 in a reported €31million deal after emerging as one of Europe's most promising young players at Rennes.

He unsurprisingly took ownership of a rotation role during his first season, making 13 LaLiga starts from 26 appearances.

But the France international has struggled to kick on this term, with only five of his 16 league outings coming as a starter.

His future was then called into question on Friday when speculation surfaced suggesting Arsenal were particularly keen on a loan move, while big-spending Chelsea have been credited with an interest.

Camavinga's agent insisted on Saturday that the player is happy in Madrid, and Ancelotti looked to firmly put an end to the rumours.

"Eduardo is untouchable, like [Luka] Modric and [Toni] Kroos," the Italian told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Athletic Bilbao.

Camavinga is not the only Madrid player who has had to contend with a degree of uncertainty around his future.

Nacho Fernandez, Dani Ceballos and Marco Asensio are among the players who have entered the final six months of their contracts.

Nevertheless, Ancelotti is convinced the lack of certainty is not an issue.

"They could start the game, or be decisive in the game," he added. "You have to evaluate. From what I see, I see very motivated players, and they show it. We have to see what happens.

"Their contracts are running down and they show that they have motivation, desire, and concentration. The fact that their contract ends does not affect them at all."

Ancelotti also moved to draw a line under the recent controversy around Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Frenchman, who has been injured for two weeks, was not in attendance for the midweek Copa del Rey win over Villarreal because he went to watch the NBA game in Paris between the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls.

He apologised on Friday and Ancelotti says the situation is resolved.

Ancelotti said: "He made his apology public. He was wrong, but he is a young boy, and the subject has ended with this."