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Soccer-Real's Ancelotti plays down Falcao link

Reuters

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has played down reports linking the club with Monaco's Radamel Falcao, saying he did not think the striker was right for his side.

The 27-year-old is sidelined with a thigh injury, but speculation has mounted in recent weeks that he may be on his way out of the Ligue 1 club, despite joining from Atletico Madrid in the close season for a 60 million euro ($82.38 million) transfer fee.

"He is a great player but at the moment we are very happy with the strikers that we have as they are scoring a lot of goals," Ancelotti said about reports linking Real with a January move for the Colombia international, who has scored nine goals in 14 league outings but has not played since Nov. 24.

"I don't think at the moment Falcao would be the right player for us."

Real, who play Osasuna on Saturday, have recovered from a slow start to the season to move within three points of La Liga leaders Barcelona, who lead Atletico on goal difference.

They have won their past five league matches, scoring 24 goals in the process, and rounded off a comfortable Champions League group stage campaign with a 2-0 victory at FC Copenhagen midweek, a match which saw Cristiano Ronaldo return from injury.

Ancelotti remains without Sami Khedira, Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao, but the Italian said he did not plan on rotating his team against Osasuna, who sit in 16th position, one point out of the relegation zone.

"I won't be changing the side much as the players have recovered well from the Copenhagen game. It is now going to be a difficult match where we will have to give our best if we want to win," he told a news conference.

"We have 90 minutes to score, we must not obsess about scoring early on. Osasuna played very well against Barcelona and are an organised team so we need to be concentrated."

($1 = 0.7283 euros) (Reporting by Tim Hanlon; Editing by Josh Reich)

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