Moussa Sissoko says making a move to Real Madrid would be the completion of a dream.
The Newcastle United midfielder has been linked with a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu after impressing for France in their run to the final of Euro 2016.
Newcastle were relegated from the Premier League last season, but are still reportedly demanding €40million if they are to sell the 26-year-old.
Sissoko – who has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain – is flattered by interest from Madrid, but knows a move is not a certainty.
“That’s flattering,” he said to L’Equipe about the prospect of a move to Madrid. “Who would not be flattered by the interest of the best clubs in the world?
“It’s simple – when you are young and you start playing football, your dream is to become a professional and play for a club like Real or Manchester United.
“I have worked my way up and if a club like Real comes to me, it will be something huge. It is difficult to reject a club like Real, although you still have to think carefully to make the best decision possible.
“[Being coached by Zinedine Zidane] could be something fantastic, but that is not the case today. Everyone knows Zidane, his career, the man he is and the coach he is becoming. This is a great person in the world of football.
“Now I wait to see if this is really feasible before I think about it and make a decision. I know there are a lot of interested clubs. So we will take all the options into account before making the best choice possible. We will see what happens.
“Since the beginning of my career, I didn’t have the opportunity to play Champions League matches and I have a real desire to discover this competition.
“At Newcastle, I have continued my progress and now I think now have the qualities to be able to aim higher. I was waiting for my time and perhaps it has arrived. I feel able to go to the big leagues and my wish is to join a really big club.”
Sissoko, who joined Newcastle from Toulouse in 2013, has held in-depth talks with manager Rafael Benitez – the man who started last season in charge of Madrid.
He added: “I had a very good talk with my coach where we could put everything on the table. He would have liked to keep me but he also knows what is good for a player. He is therefore open to my departure.
“There were also exchanges on this with my representatives and leaders of the club. I now hope that everyone will find happiness. The club requires a significant amount and the clubs who want me will have to find common ground with them.”