Ancelotti: Bale & Ibrahimovic are 'fantastic'

The Real Madrid coach has praised the duo but refused to confirm they are transfer targets, while hinting that Gonzalo Higuain and Fabio Coentrao could stay at Santiago Bernabeu
Carlo Ancelotti has showered Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale with praise but refused to confirm that they are transfer targets for Real Madrid.

The Santiago Bernabeu outfit have been linked with moves for both Paris Saint-Germain striker Ibrahimovic - who Ancelotti coached last season - and Tottenham winger Bale this summer.

And the former Chelsea and AC Milan boss admits he harbours a strong admiration for the pair - but stressed he was keen to respect their current clubs by avoiding any transfer speculation.

"I'm very happy with this squad. I cannot talk about players who are not on this team," the Italian trainer told reporters on Saturday.

"I do not want to talk about Bale. Everyone knows he's a great player. Out of respect for the players we have here it is better not to talk.

"Ibrahimovic is a fantastic player who can play for any team in the world. Today he is not a Real Madrid player and I cannot talk about him out of respect for PSG."

Ancelotti also discussed the fate of his current Blancos charges Gonzalo Higuain and Fabio Coentrao, insisting they remain valuable players in the Spanish capital, while he also revealed how summer arrivals Isco and Asier Illarramendi are faring in pre-season training.

"I have spoken to Higuain about private things," he said. "Gonzalo is a Real player and I'm glad he is here. I have nothing more to add.

"I spoke to Coentrao, too. It's the same with him. He is a quality left-back and he's still here. The player is very important to the team.

"[Illarra and Isco] are fine. Their adaptation is going well. They do not talk much but just work - that's good. All young people lead the team's enthusiasm and motivation. There is a great atmosphere here."