By Duncan Castles
Real Madrid are to resist Arsenal and Tottenham approaches to sign Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao respectively, following a personal intervention by manager Carlo Ancelotti, Goal understands.
|Alberto Pinero | Goal Spain
"Carlo Ancelotti certainly doesn't want to lose Pepe or Angel Di Maria - that much is clear from the statements he's made in recent press conferences. While Pepe is not the first-team regular he was in the past, limited options at the back mean his sale is simply not an option, and Di Maria looked all set to leave, with Arsenal strongly linked, but has now been reassured that he does have a Bernabeu future.
"It's a slightly different case for Fabio Coentrao, however. After Ancelotti declared he would not sell the left-back, it's all gone a bit quiet, with Spurs ramping up their interest in recent times. While his future remains the most uncertain of the three, it will undoubtedly take a sizable offer to land the Portuguese as Ancelotti is not interested in selling on the cheap, given the £25 million Madrid paid Benfica to sign him back in 2011."
Ancelotti, however, has stepped in to convince both that their future is in Madrid, scuppering the two deals.
Unhappy with his status within the Liga club, Coentrao had been touted for an exit from Madrid all summer with AS Monaco offering a pay rise in French football, and former club Benfica exploring the possibility of a return on loan.
Tottenham came close to landing the 25-year-old, with manager Andre Villas-Boas targeting the Portugal international as left-back in his new-look team - even though the proposed financial terms of the €17 million [£14.5m] deal had prompted some consternation within the London club.
However, following talks with the manager in the last 24 hours, Coentrao is now set to extend his stay on an improved contract at a club he joined for €30m [£25.6m] two years ago.
Also originally recruited from Benfica by Jose Mourinho, Di Maria has been sounded out by Arsenal after Madrid informally placed the Argentina international on the transfer market last month.
Again, Ancelotti intervened to keep the winger at the club, regardless of Bale's proposed €100 million [£86m] recruitment, leaving Wenger short of transfer options with the close of the window just over a day away.
The Italian coach has also blocked Manchester City's sustained attempt to recruit Pepe, reassuring the Portugal international of his importance to Madrid's first team and returning him to it.
An often controversial figure at the Bernabeu, the Brazil-born defender had welcomed the idea of moving to the Premier League having fallen out with Mourinho over team selections and grown tired of public criticism in Madrid - but now looks set to stay at the club, alongside Coentrao and Di Maria.
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