For Marcelo, Isco and Gareth Bale, it may be a case of a different coach but the same story at Real Madrid, as Carlo Ancelotti‘s arrival doesn’t alter their status as players that are up for sale.
Some had thought that Ancelotti‘s arrival would be good news for some of the old guard that he worked with previously, and all three of these players were pivotal in the Italian’s success the first time around.
However, in his first press conference, Ancelotti was in no mood to offer guarantees to anyone. It is performance, not nostalgia, that will decide the futures of those who have found themselves on the fringes this season.
Ancelotti has history in this area. When he arrived at Real Madrid in 2013, a familiar face awaited in him in Kaka, with whom he had shared much success at AC Milan.
However, the Brazilian had been underperforming for a few months and, after speaking with the club’s directors, Ancelotti gave the green light to selling the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner.
That anecdote should serve as a warning to any Real Madrid players who think their previous displays in Ancelotti‘s team will count for anything this summer. The Italian made that clear in his press conference, too.
“I know [Marcelo, Isco and Bale] well and I know how to motivate them, but there is one ultimate judge: the pitch,” said Ancelotti.
“We’ll see. Without attitude and without football, there’s nothing we can do.”
The Italian was also asked specifically about Bale and, while he appeared to leave the door open, he did highlight his lack of game time.
“Bale hasn’t played much, he hasn’t had many minutes in the Premier League, but he has scored a lot of goals,” said Ancelotti.
“Particularly in the last few games, when he was able to play more and with more consistency.
“He’s coming back and if he has the motivation to play better, he could have a great season.”
It is that mental side of things that is the concern for Los Blancos when it comes to the Welshman, while for Isco and Marcelo it is football which has sentenced them to a likely exit.
Real Madrid‘s intention is to find a solution to avoid paying all three the final year of their contracts, saving 50 million euros in wages.