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Ancelotti denies Di Maria departure

ESPN staff
August 23, 2014 « Arsenal won't be bullied, says Wenger | Ward falls at final hurdle in bid to reach US Open »
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Carlo Ancelotti has denied reports that Manchester United target Angel Di Maria was left out of Real Madrid's Spanish Super Cup 1-0 second leg defeat at Atletico Madrid because he is about to leave the club.

But Ancelotti did admit Sami Khedira - who might also be of interest to United as well as fellow Premier League club Arsenal - could be on his way out of the Bernabeu.

Angel di Maria came off the bench in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup © Getty Images
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Ancelotti was speaking after Real were outbattled and outplayed by Atletico, who went ahead early through Mario Mandzukic and deserved to hold on to win 2-1 on aggregate even after manager Diego Simeone was sent to the stands.

In his post-match news conference, Ancelotti said it had been a sporting decision not to include Di Maria in his 18-man squad, but Khedira had not been selected as he was close to leaving the club.

"It was a technical decision not to play Di Maria," Ancelotti said. "I did not need him today. Khedira has permission to leave. I am not interested in where he goes."

Speculation has suggested Madrid might use any money raised through player sales to sign another centre-forward - with Monaco's Radamel Falcao a long-time favourite of club president Florentino Perez.

However, Ancelotti said he did not want another No.9 as he was happy with Karim Benzema, despite the striker having now scored just once in his last 15 club games.

"I am very happy with Benzema," Ancelotti said. "Although he did not score he is useful for the team. We do not need another solution at centre-forward."

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