REAL MADRID

Zidane applies the brakes to Diego Llorente's Villarreal move

Zinedine Zidane has blocked Diego Llorente's proposed loan move to Villarreal, insisting that the player must remain with the first team squad until mid-August at least.

Zidane applies the brakes to Diego Llorente's Villarreal move
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Zinedine Zidane wants Diego Llorente to be part of the team's pre-season, and at the very least to have the chance to take a good look at him before listening to offers from other clubs. The player must stay put until mid-August, when Zidane must decide whether to accept one of the loan deals on the table for Llorente or keep him as part of the squad for the new campaign. Zidane is keen to cover his back, seeing as Sergio Ramos and Pepe won't be back from their holidays until the summer stage is underway and also while Nacho and Raphaël Varane look set to be moving on.

Zidane's decision means that it is almost impossible that Llorente will follow Denis Cheryshev to Villarreal - a proposed one-season loan move which had the blessing of the player and both clubs. Villarreal cannot wait until two weeks before the new season starts to reinforce their defence. The 'Submarine' want to bring in a defender who is able to complete the pre-season preparations with the squad and be given time to settle in before their Champions League Play-Offs on 16/17 - 23/24 August. It's worth noting that, at present Villarreal only have three central defenders, one of whom, Víctor Ruiz, will miss the Play Offs through suspension. Villarreal are weighing up other options to bolster their back line.