Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Zidane: I like Pogba a lot

SoccerNews in La Liga 30 Mar 2019

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Zinedine Zidane has described Paul Pogba as a “truly different player” and admitted he would love to bring him to Real Madrid.

Manchester United midfielder Pogba flirted with Madrid during the international break, claiming playing for the European champions under fellow Frenchman Zidane would be a “dream” – and it seems the admiration is mutual.

Asked about Pogba at Saturday’s press conference prior to the home game with Huesca, Zidane said: “I like the player a lot, I know him personally.

“He is a truly different player, few players can contribute what he can. He’s a midfielder who knows how to defend, attack and build the play. He knows how to do everything on the field.

“But he is not part of my squad, he is at Manchester United, so we must respect that.

“What he has said about Madrid and his desire to come… if one day there is a possibility that he wants to leave United then why would he not come to Madrid.”

Zidane was not so forthright when Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe – another reported target for Madrid – was mentioned.

“We know the player he is but he is not my player. I will not speak out of respect for him, PSG, our club and my players,” he said.

Madrid have endured a season of underachievement that started under the management of Julen Lopetegui before he was sacked and replaced by Santiago Solari.

Solari lasted just five months before Zidane returned for a second spell at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The off-field turbulence has been replicated on the field with Madrid 12 points adrift of LaLiga leaders Barcelona and out of the Champions League.

It is, therefore, expected to be a busy close season in the Spanish capital.

“I understand it [the transfer rumours] because you have to talk about something,” said Zidane. 

“There are 10 games left and that is the only thing we have to think about, finishing the season well. Not only for my players, who have contracts, and you have to respect those who are here.

“You also have to respect players who are not mine. And it does not mean that afterwards there will not be changes.”

As part of an overhaul, it is expected some high-profile players will depart Madrid with France centre-half Raphael Varane this week linked with a move to United.

Zidane said: “There is a lot of talk here. 

“The only thing [that matters] is what the player thinks and the player is very good here. 

“Eight years already here, he has been phenomenal. I see him happy, content and involved.”

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