Real Madrid defender Marcelo said he has not received an offer from Juventus, amid reports of interest from the Serie A side. Marcelo was first linked with Juve over the summer, when Cristiano Ronaldo moved there from Madrid, and Tuttosport reported this week that he hoped a move could happen as soon as January.
Speaking after he had been whistled by angry fans and then scored in a 2-1 Champions League group win over Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, Marcelo told reporters he had not received an offer and that his goal celebration had not been a personal message to the crowd.
“I have not listened to any offer [from Juve],” Marcelo said. “I have a contract with Real Madrid, and when I signalled the badge, it was to show that this is Madrid and we always come back.
“[It’s] just that — I’ve received no offer. I went to celebrate with [fitness coach Antonio] Pintus.”
Asked whether he would consider an offer from Juve, Marcelo dodged the question.
“I have said many times that there is nobody more Madridista than me,” he said. “You are looking to get something, but you will get nothing out of me.”
When told Madrid director Emilio Butragueno confirmed that Julen Lopetegui would stay as Madrid coach at least as far as El Clasico at Barcelona on Sunday, Marcelo said he was delighted with the news and blamed the media for the atmosphere of crisis around the team after they went five games without a win before defeating Plzen.
“[Lopetegui] is doing a great job, for me, although results have not been so good,” said Marcelo, Madrid’s vice-captain. “These three points will not change much but will give us a bit more confidence. It is hard when you do not win, but all this about crisis and eight hours [without scoring] is media talk. It does not affect us at all.
“The media try to damage the dressing room. Maybe it is jealousy or because you do not know how to play football. I don’t care. We are trying to do everything possible so that results come.”
Madrid’s other goalscorer on the night was Karim Benzema, who had gone eight games without a goal during the team’s slump but has now scored a Champions League goal in 14 consecutive seasons.
Benzema, 30, told reporters that with Ronaldo having moved on, he knew he needed to find the net more often.
“I know I have to score more goals,” Benzema said. “I have that in my head and am very motivated to do that. With Cristiano, I played a bit as a second striker, now I am more a centre-forward. We have to score more goals.”
Lopetegui also received a vote of confidence from Benzema, who had been very close to previous Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
“I am not among those who want to change the coach,” he said. “He is a good coach. He knows he has our confidence. It is not always the fault of the coach. We must also do more on the pitch. We will keep working hard to win games.”