Zidane cool on Mbappé to Real Madrid talk
Real Madrid's directors know which players Zinedine Zidane wants to sign and he was asked whether Kylian Mbappé is a target.
Zinedine Zidane said that Real Madrid's directors know who his transfer targets are but was tight-lipped on whether Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé is one of them. With Gareth Bale rumoured to be on his way out of the Santiago Bernabéu, speculation is rife about potential additions to Los Blancos' strike force and France international Mbappé is frequently linked with a lucrative move to Madrid.
The kind of players Zidane is looking for
Speaking ahead of his side's clash with Athletic Club Bilbao, Zidane confirmed he is in talks with his employers about the players he wants to bring in, but refused to shed light on the names on his list. "You can ask and I will answer what I want. I will not get into anything - I'm not going to start mentioning names or anything," Zidane told Saturday's news conference. "I talk to the club about the type of player I want, as I know perfectly well who I want, but I'm not going to do that here".
Zidane refuses to be pressed on Bale's future
Asked whether he had discussed Bale's future with the club's owners, Zidane replied: "We have not spoken about that, and we are just thinking about tomorrow's game, nothing else."
Madrid go into their clash with Athletic trailing second-placed Atlético de Madrid by four points and having won just one of their past three LaLiga matches. Zidane warned that his side's seventh-placed visitors, who beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2 last time out, would make life difficult for his team but backed his players to raise their game after a disappointing 1-1 draw at Leganés.
"Lately they have not lost many games and are playing much better than at the start of the season," said Zidane. "A good team, Athletic have always been very difficult to play against, and tomorrow they will make it tough. But it's a good game for us to play well, play better. We have six games left to move this forward. We must play better before the season ends, to play well would be good for everyone. But in training we are getting better each week, and tomorrow we will try and show that on the pitch."
Zidane insists he's not feeling the strain
The coach was asked whether he was burned out by the team's sobering end to the season with only second place in LaLiga to play for - even then they must hope that city rivals Atleti lose and draw at the least over the next six games. "No, no, I'm fine", Zidane replied. "I'm absolutely fine and if the players aren't in their moment, they are the ones who really want to lift us out of this situation. They want to do better and that's what we'll be trying to do. These are players who are used to winning things and this year, that hasn't been possible. We've got one month left this season and we'll be trying to do things well. My mind is focused on the job here and all of my energy willl go into next season and I am full of energy".
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