Transfer news: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti denies a deal is in place to sell Arsenal target Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli

Reports suggested the striker was ready to move to Italy but the new Real boss has insisted that he remains one of his firs-team players until he is told otherwise

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has negated rumours that a deal has been agreed between his club and Napoli over the sale of Gonzalo Higuain as the transfer saga involving the striker continues to rumble on.

The striker netted just two minutes after he came off the bench in the pre-season friendly win over Bournemouth, with the La Liga side running out unsurprisingly 6-0 winners at Dean Court.

And Ancelotti confirmed afterwards that he wants to keep hold of the forward despite interest from both Napoli and Arsenal.

"Not true, I don't have any news about this," Ancelotti responded when asked if a deal was in place with the Italian club.

"I think that now we have to speak about Higuain as a Real Madrid player. He is a fantastic player and a fantastic striker who took one minute to score tonight.

"I spoke to him this week. He is a Real Madrid player and until we have news we have to consider him as a Real Madrid player and I would like him to stay with us.

"He is very important to us and nothing else - it is not my business to judge the price of a player."

Arsenal were close to securing Higuain in a deal worth around £23m a few weeks ago, but talks appeared to break down when Madrid hiked the asking price up to £35m - a fee that Napoli also felt was too high for the striker who has had to play second-fiddle to both Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in recent years.

Ancelotti's words will come as a relief to the Gunners, who had feared they had missed out on Higuain when Napoli came steaming in for the Argentinian armed with the £55m they received from the transfer of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo scored the first two goals of Ancelotti’s Real reign, and talk soon moved to the future of the Portuguese forward, who has been linked with a return to Manchester United in the next couple of years.

The former Chelsea boss insisted that Ronaldo is the most important player in his side, and suggested that he sees his future at the Santiago Bernabeu amid  rumours that he will sign a new deal as early as this week.

"I think Ronaldo is the most important player in this team because he is the player with the best quality," he said.

"I think we will help him every time to do his best because if he does that every time we have a great opportunity for this season.

"His future is at Real Madrid, there is no question about this."