By Matt Barlow
Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria have dashed the hopes of Arsenal and Manchester United by vowing to stay at Real Madrid and fight for their places, despite the imminent arrival of Gareth Bale.
Ozil and Di Maria are aware their positions in Carlo Ancelotti's team are the most under threat from Bale.
Yet they are both determined not to be forced out of Real in order to help the club recover some of their world-record outlay.
Not tempted: Mesut Ozil will again resist the chance to move to the Premier League
'I am not afraid of this deal,' said Ozil on Wednesday, when asked about Bale at an event to mark his new boot deal with adidas. 'I am happy to play with the best players in the world and I am sure I can manage this new situation in the team.'
Manchester United, who tried to sign him in 2010, and Arsenal are both interested in the 24-year-old Germany playmaker, who would demand a salary of nearly 200,000 a week to better his deal in Spain.
'I will stay,' said Ozil. 'I am happy to be at Real Madrid and proud to be part of this team. It is an honour and a privilege. I have a contract until 2016. I am flattered that great teams are interested in me but I have a contract at Real Madrid and I will stay. There is no discussion.'
Staying put: Angel Di Maria is also determined to remain at The Bernabeu
Di Maria has also made it clear he does not intend to leave and has impressed Ancelotti with his attitude and work ethic since it became clear Real were going to sign Bale for a world-record transfer fee of 86million.
The 25-year-old Argentina winger impressed during the 1-0 win at Granada on Monday, when his run and cross helped to set up the winning goal for Karim Benzema. Di Maria is clearly determined to make it difficult for Ancelotti to drop him and the manager has since admitted he would not want to see him leave although Arsenal, Manchester City and PSG have all shown an interest.
'I understand the club are strengthening and they are precise in what they do,' Di Maria told newspaper AS. 'But I signed a contract until 2018 just a year ago and my desire is to stay in the Bernabeu.'
Focused on Real: Karim Benzema is another who will reject the chance to move to the Premier League
It is an emphatic pledge from both players. Benzema has also reacted to interest from Arsenal by insisting he will not leave Madrid.
The France striker has the advantage of being a favourite of president Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane, an assistant to Ancelotti and adviser to Perez, although it remains to be seen how the club will deal with a surplus of attacking options.
Bale will compete with Di Maria to play on the opposite flank to Cristiano Ronaldo or with Isco and Ozil to play in the hole behind the centre forward.
Spoilt for choice: And Carlo Ancelotti expects to be joined by Gareth Bale (right)
Despite Di Maria's attitude, he does not have the marketing potential of the true Galacticos. Ozil's case was not helped when he stormed down the tunnel after being substituted by Ancelotti on Monday.
Ultimately it may depend on the pressure Real feel to raise more money from sales in which case they may encourage the players to leave, as they did with Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben in 2009.