August 31, 2018 5:21:36 pm
Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has said that he does not expect the club to make any deadline day moves ahead of the transfer window closing later on Friday. The European champions, who sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in July, have been quiet in the transfer market by their usual standards.
They have not made a ‘Galactico’ signing despite media reports linking them to a host of names, including Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Paris St Germain’s Neymar. “The squad is complete, and we’re happy with the players we’ve got, that’s all that matters,” Lopetegui told a news conference. “With Mariano’s arrival it’s all done and dusted. There won’t be any last minute moves and we’re happy with that.”
This year the Premier League’s transfer window shut before the English top flight season got underway and Lopetegui said he would be in favour of a similar setup in Spain. “It’s my belief that the window should close earlier so we can focus on reality, on what we have to do — it wouldn’t be a bad thing — but it’s not the case at the moment,” he said.
Real completed a clean sweep of the individual prizes at UEFA’s awards ceremony in Monaco on Thursday, with keeper Keylor Navas, defender Sergio Ramos and midfielder Luka Modric all named the best players in their positions for last season. Modric was also named the overall player of the year. Ronaldo, too, was rewarded for the form he showed with the club last season, although he did not attend the ceremony.
Real host local rivals Leganes at the Bernabeu on Saturday, with new signing Mariano set to be named in the squad following his return to the club from Olympique Lyonnais. Navas, meanwhile, is expected to retain his place in goal ahead of Thibaut Courtois, who signed from Chelsea in the close season.
“We’ll see tomorrow who starts, but I’ve got maximum confidence in all my goalkeepers,” he said. “Only one can play but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the other. “We’re relaxed about it and the fact is we have good options in that position.”
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