Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka knows its been a tough season for Raul Albiol.

The defender has been linked with Valencia and Barcelona in recent days.

Karanka said: "Albiol is a great professional. This year may be difficult for him because he isn't playing much and he's finding it difficult to play for Spain, but he's always been ready to perform when we've needed him, be it as a centre back, as a right back or as a centre midfielder. The players on this team are always ready and he is a good example of that."