The Real Madrid coach defended his son Luca and added that he wants Varane to stay. "I think it's disrepectful to talk about a summer clear-out at this stage of the season".
Zinedine Zidane took questions from the media ahead of tomorrow's league meeting with Valencia. The Real Madrid coach spoke about the current issues affecting the team - including his decision to field his son Luca against Huesca at the weekend and his hopes that Raphaël Varane will stay on. He refused to be drawn into a debate on who will be leaving the club this summer...
Will you continue your rotation policy in Valencia tomorrow? “After the Huesca game I said that there would be changes to the team against Valencia and that's what we are planning to do, make a few changes and put in a good game. It's going to be a great game, one that players really enjoy. We'll be setting out to play a a good game - in spite of the late kick-off time”.
Were you offended by the remarks that you only fielded your son Luca at the weekend for personal reasons, not sporting motives? “The people who know me know that Luca is at this club on his own merits. He's a member of the first team squad, and he's been at this club since he was 16 or 17 years old. We could just as easily talk about Carvajal, or other young players who have made their debut for Madrid and Luca is one of them. I don't care about other people's opinions or those who make personal remarks”.
Varane wants to leave. Can you imagine Madrid without him? “No, and besides, I don't want him to go. None of us want him to leave. He's still young, he's been here for eight years, and he's doing well. It's life, but he seems fine to me. He hasn't said anything about wanting to leave. But if you know something I don't… What counts is what the player tells me and right now he is at the best club in the world. He has won a lot here and he seems ok to me”.
Do you think Madrid need a summer clear-out? Do you see Gareth Bale staying? “It's neither here nor there. People are talking about lots of things that they think need changing… It's not something we talk about. We have to respect all of the players who are here with us. Talking about a summer clear-out at this point in the season seems disrepectful to me. I will say this: we will need to make changes, but now is not the right moment to talk about that. We'll have time to talk about when the time is right, later on in the season”.
Do you think the goalkeepers can constantly be rotated? “That depends on which goalkeepers we will have next season. At the moment, we have three very good keepers and we'll see what happens next season. There will be no debate about the goalkeeping position next season - it will be very clear”.
How do you see Marcelo? “He hasn't played much lately. I like Marcelo - what he's done at this club has been tremendous. There's always talk when a player doesn't play as well as he usually does. He's a player we need, a good player and we'll always want more from him. He's been questioned but I think he's a fantastic player and I hope he plays many more games here. I say that without taking anything away from Reguilón, who is the second choice at left-back who will also get games”.
Do you think Bale has been affected by the whistling he receives? “The fans whistled me too when I was a player. You have to accept it and have the personality to take on board what other people think about you. It's been a difficult season but when things have been going well the fans have been excited and that's great as far as we are concerned. We have to finish the season before we can start talking about our players and their future”.