Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez says he's taken note of Mathew Ryan joining former club Valencia but wouldn't be drawn on the Socceroos goalkeeper's chances of becoming the new number one at Estadio Mestalla.
It's a measure of Ryan's meteoric rise in the football world that he's now at a direct rival to Liga superpower Madrid.
Los Blancos' chief threats next term will be reigning champions Barcelona and 2013-14 title winners Atletico Madrid.
But the likes of Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol and Valencia, who finished fourth to qualify for the UEFA Champions League play-offs, must be overcome on a regular basis if the championship crown is to return to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
With that in mind, Benitez took an interest in Los Che moving to bring in the Australia international shot-stopper from Club Brugge.
But, as a consummate professional who knows how to focus the spotlight on his employers, the 55-year-old coach was giving little away regarding his knowledge of the new arrival to Spain's top flight.
"I was reading the press about the signing, but I have my own players who I have to concentrate on," Benitez said.
"I don't know if he will start or not.
"So obviously, I wish them (Valencia and Ryan) all the best, but I cannot talk about other players."
Madrid's first meeting with Valencia will take place at the Mestalla on January 3.
Aussies Abroad: Vukovic’s Genk beaten in battle of Belgium’s top two
Danny Vukovic’s Genk remain well clear on top of the table despite falling to a rare defeat in Belgium against Club Brugge overnight. In a meeting of the competition’s top two at the Jan Breydel Stadion, Genk were beaten the fired-up home side, going down 3-1. There was lit
Aussies Abroad: Ryan’s Brighton through to Quarter-Finals while Milligan, Giannou pick up strong results
There were a handful of Caltex Socceroos in action on Sunday morning (AEDT) while some key figures were rested as their clubs negotiated cup ties. Firstly to Europe where Mark Milligan played a full 90 at the heart of Hibernian’s midfield as they welcomed new manager Danny Hec
Aussies Abroad: Luongo gallant in Watford defeat
Caltex Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo can turn his attention to the EFLChampionship after QPR crashed out of the FA Cup on Saturday morning (AEDT). The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes in QPR’s 1-0 loss to Watford at Loftus Road, in a tight game where each side cou
When to watch your Caltex Socceroos this weekend
There's FA Cup action on the cards for two Australians this weekend as another prepares for a massive top-of-the-table encounter. Multiple players are involved in matches with major title ramifications, while Mark Milligan has a new manager to impress in Scotland. Read on t