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Soccer - With or without Mbappe, Real can compete with anyone, says Ancelotti

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was tight-lipped about Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe on Friday, amid mounting speculation the France forward could join the LaLiga club before the transfer window closes next week.

Real have tabled a bid of 180 million euros (US$211.48 million) for Mbappe after having an initial 160 million euro bid rejected by PSG, French newspaper L'Equipe reported on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Mbappe, who joined PSG from AS Monaco in 2017 on an initial loan deal, has long been linked with a move to Real and has a year remaining on his PSG contract.

Speculation that he would move intensified after PSG signed Lionel Messi from Barcelona earlier this month.

"Strange question, I wasn't expecting it," Ancelotti joked in response to a query on whether Real would get the Mbappe deal done, during a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Real Betis.

"It's something the club handles. I understand that it's of interest, but I can't say more. Mbappe is a great player, that's the truth. But I focus on my players. I repeat myself: my squad is fantastic. We can compete with any team in the world."

The Italian also refused to comment on Mbappe's price tag, saying he was "not interested in football politics."

Ancelotti added that he had not discussed the possibility of Real signing Mbappe with any of his current squad.

"With them I talk about work, about training," the manager said. "We don't talk about the market. There are players who see that they are not playing and can think about leaving, that's their individual market.

"There's a lot of competition, but there are a lot of games, the Champions League is coming up. I'm going to need them all."

Real travel to Betis for their last game before the international break, having earned four points in two games so far, following an opening day 4-1 win at Alaves and a 3-3 draw with Levante.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: Reuters

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