Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is happy to leave Kylian Mbappe to make his own decision on his future amid talk of a possible move to Spain.
The Paris Saint-Germain star scored twice in a 3-2 win away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final this week.
Following that performance, reports in Spain suggested Mbappe has now informed PSG he will not be signing a new contract and is determined to become a Madrid player before next season.
The France international, who is said to be keen to work under compatriot Zidane, has scored 32 goals and provided nine assists this season and is behind only Harry Kane (45) and Robert Lewandowski (50) for direct goal involvements for players in Europe’s top-five leagues this season.
Aside from Karim Benzema, who has 24 goals and six assists this term, few Madrid players have offered persistent goal threats, with none of Benzema’s team-mates having scored more than six times in 2020-21.
Interest in Mbappe therefore comes as little surprise, but Zidane, speaking ahead of Saturday’s LaLiga showdown with Barcelona, was not prepared to discuss a possible deal in detail.
8 – Kylian Mbappé has scored eight goals in this season’s UEFA Champions League, the joint-most by a French player in a single campaign in the competition, moving level with Wissam Ben Yedder in 2017-18 and David Trezeguet in 2001-02. Magic. pic.twitter.com/R1daYgf0rc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2021
“I know him and we know him well. That’s it. He’s not my player and I can’t speak about anything,” Zidane said.
“Kylian is a great player and we’ll see what he wants to do in the future, but it’s not my concern.”
With Eden Hazard still out injured and the Mbappe rumours continuing, much of the focus on Saturday will be on Madrid forward Vinicius Junior.
The Brazilian produced arguably his best performance for the club on Tuesday, scoring twice in the 3-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg win over Liverpool.
Zidane is confident in the 20-year-old as he aims for a victory that will lift Madrid above Barca and onto the coattails of league leaders Atletico Madrid.
20y 268d – Vinícius Júnior (20y 268d) is the second youngest scorer for Real Madrid in a UEFA @ChampionsLeague knockout match, after Raúl González (18y 253d) in March 1996 against Juventus. Premature#RealMadridLiverpool pic.twitter.com/lVXuFpFw7q
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 6, 2021
“He’s really well, working, he’s very young and we have to keep calm with him. It’s making me happy because there’s a lot of noise but he is focused on what he has to do,” Zidane said.
“We have Eden who, at the moment, is not available but we have Vini and we’re happy with him.
“We’ve had a lot of complications this year with injuries and the truth is we’ve not liked it, but it’s a very big squad where the players are always committed and want to play and that’s the most important thing.
“Atletico have the advantage because they’re first. You say who is going to win and it’s a very competitive league, a very good league and all the teams can win, so until the end, we don’t know who will do it. I don’t know how many points are left, but there are many.
“I’m not thinking [if we lose, we can’t win the league]. We’ll see at the end of the game, but we’re going to give everything and we’re positive and we want to play a great game of football.”
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