Ancelotti admits Madrid interest in Lucas Silva

The Brazilian is reported to be on the radar of several of Europe’s biggest clubs, with the Champions League winners big admirers

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has performed an about-turn and admitted the European champions are interested in signing Cruzeiro midfielder Lucas Silva.

Ancelotti last week insisted the Brazil Under-21 midfielder was not on his wishlist and explained he had no need to strengthen his squad in the January transfer window.

However, speaking on Monday ahead of Madrid’s Champions League clash with Ludogorets, the Italian had changed his tune.

He said: “We have an interest in signing Lucas Silva but he is not the only one we are scouting. After the Club World Cup we will decide if we have to make some signings in January.”

Silva has already spoken of his desire to move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with the Cruzeiro president Gilvan de Pinho Tavares willing to sell if the club’s €15 million valuation is met.

The need to sign another midfielder lessened earlier Monday when it was announced James Rodriguez had only suffered a grade one hamstring strain and is facing just a short spell on the sidelines.

He will miss the start of the Club World Cup, with Madrid not due to enter until the semi-finals, but he could be back for the title game should Madrid progress.

“There is a small chance James could play in the final,” added Ancelotti. “But we can fix the injury problems in midfield pretty well.

“Jese will get some minutes tomorrow but not from the beginning. In early 2015 he will be at 100%. Also [Asier] Illarramendi is getting used to his position in midfield very well.”

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat of Celta Vigo saw Cristiano Ronaldo notch his 23rd hat-trick in La Liga – breaking the record in the Spanish top flight.

The Portuguese star is expected to play against Ludogorets despite there being nothing riding on the game for a Madrid side who have already qualified for the knockout stage.

Ancelotti said: “Ronaldo is doing what no-one thinks is possible. He is doing fantastic, incredible…

“I do not think he will rest tomorrow.”

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