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Ancelotti plays dumb as Rudiger to Madrid rumours intensify

Carlo Ancelotti feigned ignorance when asked about reports that Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is set to sign for Real Madrid.

Thomas Tuchel revealed that Rudiger had informed him of his desire to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of the season.

The Germany international will reportedly finalise a deal to join Madrid this week.

Asked about Rudiger by beIN SPORTS after Madrid’s 4-3 Champions League semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday, Ancelotti replied:

“Toni? Who is this?

“He’s a Chelsea player until… He’s still a Chelsea player, and I cannot say anything about this.”

Ancelotti highlighted Madrid’s defending as a critical factor in their loss to City.

Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus found the back of the net inside 11 minutes at the Etihad Stadium – the earliest Madrid have conceded twice in a single Champions League game.

Karim Benzema pulled one back on his 600th appearance for the club, and Vinicius Junior found the back of the net after Phil Foden nodded in a cross from Fernandinho in the second half.

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Bernardo Silva restored City’s two-goal cushion before Benzema gave Madrid a sliver of additional hope with an audacious Panenka following a handball in the box by Aymeric Laporte.

Ancelotti said:

“You cannot cover a position with four defenders. You have to help with a midfielder.

“There were losses in individual duels, so we have to be more attentive. But, with the ball, we had opportunities.

“We suffered a bit without it, though. But we have to have confidence.

“We came out of the first leg with the result that isn’t good because we’ve conceded four goals and not defended well.

“We hurt City with the ball, but we have to defend better. The result can change in the second leg.

“They’re a solid team – they showed it tonight – but we competed. Defending better is the key to reaching the final.”

Madrid will be crowned LaLiga champions if they get the point at Espanyol on Saturday. Still, Ancelotti intends to deny the players a chance to celebrate ahead of Wednesday’s return game against City at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“If we can win the league, we’ll celebrate. And it will help us for Wednesday’s game,” he added.

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