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Soccer-Ancelotti not frustrated by Bale transfer saga

Reuters

* Italian says fully focused on training

* Bale move from Spurs yet to be confirmed (Adds Ancelotti on transfer market, byline)

By Iain Rogers

MADRID, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has said he is not frustrated by the delay in sealing Gareth Bale's transfer and is focused on preparing for Sunday's La Liga match at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Confirmation of Bale's big-money move to Spain from Tottenham Hotspur has appeared imminent for several days and Spanish sports dailies Marca and As reported it could come later on Saturday, with the Wales international's presentation at the Bernabeu to follow on Monday.

At a pre-training news conference, Ancelotti said he did not want to talk about the transfer market but was later drawn into responding to a question about whether the Bale saga was as frustrating for him as it has been for the media.

"I am working with my players every day, my mind is not on players who are not here because we have to work," the Italian said.

"For me absolutely it's not frustrating," he added. "I am happy to train with these players, if another one comes I will be happy the same.

"Everyone knows Bale, he is a fantastic player. Everyone knows this. I don't know how long he will be a Tottenham player but today he is a Tottenham player."

Bale's possible arrival has prompted speculation it could trigger the exit of some Real players before Monday's transfer deadline.

They include Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, who sulked after being substituted in last week's 1-0 win at Granada but later said he had no plans to move on.

The future of Captain Iker Casillas, who has been replaced for the time being as Real's first choice goalkeeper by Diego Lopez, has also been called into question.

Brazilian midfielder Kaka said on Thursday he wanted to leave because he won't get sufficient playing time under Ancelotti, his coach at AC Milan when he won the World Player of the Year award in 2007.

GOOD CONDITION

Ancelotti announced Lopez would again be starting in goal against Bilbao but said he did not think Casillas, a Real academy graduate and a hero among fans, would leave.

"Iker has not spoken about that to us," he said.

"I don't think he will leave. We need two very good goalkeepers for this season and I am sure that Casillas will have a chance to play.

"At the moment Diego Lopez is playing well. He is in good condition, he is calm.

"Casillas is working very well, he is very professional. I want to talk to him again in the next few days to explain the situation."

Ozil was also unlikely to quit Real, Ancelotti added.

"It's normal that a player is unhappy when he is substituted," he said. "I don't think it's the first time he has been taken off and I don't think it will be the last."

Real won their opening two games against Real Betis and Granada without really convincing and will be hoping to continue their recent blistering home form against Bilbao.

They have put 19 goals past the Basques in their last four league matches against them at the Bernabeu, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who has yet to open his account this season, has netted 10 against Bilbao in eight encounters. (Editing by Alan Baldwin)

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