No player has made any demands, says Benitez

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Madrid, June 23 (IANS) New Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez flatly denied that any of the players in his squad has asked specifically to play in a certain position on the pitch.

Benitez was speaking in response to rumours in the Spanish press that Cristiano Ronaldo was unhappy at stories that Gareth Bale was to be given the chance to play in the left-sided role where he made his name at Tottenham Hotspurs or in a free attacking role as a second striker, reports Xinhua.

That could see Ronaldo forced to move from the left-sided role he prefers to play as an out and out striker, something that would restrict his movement on the pitch, but Benitez on Monday insisted nobody had made any demands.

He and his technical staff had spoken to the players, adding the first thing he had done was “listen” but that “nobody has asked to play here or there, among other things because we haven’t yet decided the best system to try and get the maximum out of each player. They have to happy on the pitch to give the best of themselves,” said Benitez, who added the response from the squad had been “excellent”.

The former Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli coach was also asked about possible new signings. He responded that right back Danilio has already signed while Casimiro returns from loan.

“Improving the squad at Real Madrid is extremely difficult. This team has won everything and has proven its quality,” said Benitez, who added that following a disappointing season, the fans “can rest assured that this squad will have the competitive level that this club demands”.

Finally, Benitez said he was looking forward to the pre-season tour which will see Real Madrid visit China but added that “the installations and conditions the players will have for training are key for us and we will try to reduce travel times each day and manage the rest periods between the commitments to our sponsors”.

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