Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti appears keen to keep hold of Angel di Maria amid speculation the Argentinian might be sold following the big-money signings of World Cup stars James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos.
Di Maria has long been linked with a move away from the Bernabeu and the arrivals of fellow midfielders Rodriguez and Kroos for a combined fee of around £85million has increased suggestions the winger could leave Spain this summer.
Manchester United, Arsenal and Paris St Germain are among those clubs believed to be keen on the Argentina international, but Ancelotti has insisted the 26-year-old remains a Real player and is hoping the increased competition for places will help them avoid a problem they had last season.
The Italian told a press conference: "He (Di Maria) is a Real Madrid player. He will arrive (at training) on August 5.
"With the signings of Rodriguez and Kroos there is more competition in the centre of the pitch, but that's how it is at the big clubs.
"Competition is energy and last season we had problems in the final part of the season."
Despite those problems, Ancelotti nevertheless enjoyed an impressive first season at Madrid, leading the Spanish giants to their first Champions League crown since 2002 and also lifting the Copa del Rey.
Since then they have boosted their ranks with Colombia ace Rodriguez and German World Cup-winner Kroos and, with the rest of the squad now having been together for a year under Ancelotti, the Italian is in understandably confident mood heading into the new season.
"We won two titles and that was very important for us. This season the squad is even more competitive and we have the desire and dream of winning titles," he said.
"This year we will be able to do better and I'm really confident because last season we had to work a lot on forming the team and installing a style of play.
"We can start better than last season because we had problems initially as we didn't adapt to the playing system."
Ancelotti also said the signing of forward Rodriguez from Monaco, whose reported £63million transfer fee is the fourth biggest in history, was made with one eye on the future.
Asked if Madrid really needed the 23-year-old, Ancelotti said: "Madrid's history shows that they always want to have the best players and with the best prospects. These type of players are needed for the future, not only the present."