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Real Madrid Rafael Benitez 'thrilled' with squad

Rafael Benitez says he has no plans to add to his Real Madrid squad ahead of his first La Liga game in charge.

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Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez is content with his squad and says the club do not intend to sign another striker amid continued speculation regarding Karim Benzema's future.

Benzema has been repeatedly linked with a move to Arsenal during recent weeks but remains part of a Real squad bolstered by this week's signing of Mateo Kovacic from Inter.

Kovacic could debut against Sporting Gijon on Sunday, with Benitez set to take charge of his first competitive fixture since arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Spaniard was quizzed on the make-up of his side on Saturday, telling reporters: "I think I have a great squad, I'm thrilled with what I have and my job is to improve what we have.

"As for the line-up, I am not going to say, they are all motivated to play and we will work with all of the players so that they feel that they can be starters.

"[Gareth] Bale is not a player with a fixed position like [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Jese [Rodriguez] or Benzema.

"Bale is a player who has speed, features that other players do not have. So I think he will be a player in a fixed position.

"Players like Cristiano or James [Rodriguez] are more free to do what best suits the team.

"I have said many times that I am convinced that Benzema is a great striker and I think he has demonstrated that. We also have Ronaldo and Jese...so now we do not seek any number nines."

Defending Liga champions Barcelona get their title defence under way against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, with coach Luis Enrique having suggested his side are favourites to reclaim the title.

"For me it is a great challenge to be at the most important club in the world and I will try to win everything that I can win," Benitez added.

"Luis Enrique is normal to think that Barcelona are favourites, but I think we will fight until La Liga is over.

"Real Madrid approach each match and each competition with the idea of winning it.

"For me it is a great challenge to be at the most important club in the world and I will try to win everything that I can win."

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