Madrid block Coentrao & Di Maria sales

The former Benfica pair are set to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu, despite interest in the Portugal defender from Tottenham and Arsenal's pursuit of the Argentina winger
By Duncan Castles

Real Madrid are to resist Arsenal and Tottenham approaches to sign Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao respectively, Goal understands.

The pair had looked to be heading for the Santiago Bernabeu exit following an unsettled summer at the club, with their sales also providing funds for Real's imminent capture of Gareth Bale from Tottenham.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti, however, sees Di Maria as an important part of his plans at the Spanish side, while no satisfactory offer has yet been received for Coentrao.

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Unhappy with his status within the Liga club, Coentrao had been touted for an exit from Madrid all summer with 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 deal had prompted some consternation within the London club.

However, Madrid want to recoup around €20m for the player they signed for €30m in the summer of 2011.
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.

But Ancelotti has told the Argentina winger that he is a big part of his plans, regardless of Bale's proposed €100 million recruitment, leaving Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger short of transfer options with the close of the window just over a day away.
Ancelotti has also blocked Manchester City's sustained attempt to recruit Pepe, currently first choice at Madrid in the absence of injured France defender Raphael Varane.

An often controversial figure at the Bernabeu, the Brazil-born defender had welcomed the idea of moving to the Premier League after falling out with Mourinho last season - but he now looks set to stay at the club, alongside Coentrao and Di Maria.

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