Ancelotti rules out signing Khedira replacement

It had been suggested that los Blancos might try to strengthen their injury-hit midfield during the winter break but the Italian coach feels he has the strength in depth to cope
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out signing a replacement for Sami Khedira during the January transfer window, explaining that he could just "change the formation completely".

The international break has not been kind to los Blancos, with Germany's Khedira having been ruled out for at least six months with cruciate ligament damage sustained against Italy just a day before fellow midfielder Xabi Alonso picked up a knock in Spain's clash with Equatorial Guinea.

However, with the latter expected to be back in action very soon, and Madrid boasting a strong squad, Ancelotti does not feel the Liga giants need to strengthen during the January transfer window.

“We are not thinking about signing anyone," the Italian coach is quoted as saying by AS at the launch of his new book.

“We’ve had bad luck - particularly with Khedira. Xabi, fortunately, just took a knock. But Khedira is a very important player who brings equilibrium to the side and, without him, we need to find a solution.

"I’m sure we can sort something out in his absence, which is an significant setback for us.

“We have a few options open to us. We can fill his role with another player with similar characteristics or change the system completely.

"We just need to make sure that whatever system we employ, the players are all comfortable."

It has been suggested that Ancelotti has been put under pressure to pick world-record signing Gareth Bale this season, in spite of the Welshman's fitness problems, but the former AC Milan coach insists he has never had a club president interfere in his team selections.

“Nobody has ever told me which players I should field," he declared. "I was in constant contact with [Rossoneri owner Silvio] Berlusconi but only because I feel that every coach should give explanations to their superiors.

"But it wouldn’t be right for a president to tell the coach who to pick."

Ancelotti, though, was reluctant to be drawn on whether Cristiano Ronaldo should attend the upcoming Ballon d'Or ceremony in light of controversial comments made by Fifa president Sepp Blatter about the Portugal international.

“You have to ask Cristiano that," he stated. "Only he is able to say what’s best for him."

Blatter had expressed a preference for Lionel Messi over Ronaldo, claiming that "one spends more time in the hairdressers than the other".