Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has vowed to hand more minutes to midfielder Luka Modric across the remainder of the season.
After seeing his minutes gradually decrease last season, Modric has started just once in La Liga this year and recently admitted it felt “strange” to be watching Madrid games from the sidelines these days.
Modric has also confessed that he may have to consider his future at the club if he does not see more minutes, with boyhood side Dinamo Zagreb prepared to explore an ambitious move in January.
Ancelotti has vowed to ensure things do not reach such an extent and promised to offer Modric more minutes as the season goes on.
“When he renewed, we were all delighted,” Ancelotti said. “His role has changed because at the beginning, he has only started one game, but now he will have more prominence and will continue to be important.
“I have discussed this issue with him. He has had to put up with it a little longer than normal now that I have been giving prominence to the younger players. This squad has a lot of competition and a lot of quality, and I don’t need to give Modric or [Toni] Kroos minutes to see what they can, and will, contribute this year.”
Madrid are back in action on Sunday against Real Sociedad, and Ancelotti admitted he is ready to start spreading the minutes around his squad.
“Tomorrow I will play the best team, because it is going to be an important match against an important rival,” he said.
“I’m going to rotate a little more compared to the first games. Many more players are going to be used from the start.”
Madrid are the only side in La Liga to have made a perfect start to the current campaign and have a two-point advantage over Barcelona heading into the weekend’s action. Xavi’s side play Real Betis on Saturday evening.