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Zidane: Isco just wants to play football, nothing else

  /  autty

Celta visit the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for what will be Zinedine Zidane's first match back in charge of Real Madrid, yet with one of the first items in his in-tray being the future of Isco, the former Juventus midfielder has made clear the Spaniard just wants to play football.

The relationship between the pair wasn't always spectacular during his previous tenure, but it never reached the low point that it did between Santiago Solari and the former Malaga star.

"Isco just wants to play football, nothing else," Zidane admitted in his pre-match press conference.

"We're here just to think about football.

"I'm going to count on Isco, as well as other players, the important thing is that I make each player feel very involved."

Gareth Bale has failed to take the mantle from Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of leading Los Blancos' attack, and despite rumours linking him with a summer move away from the Spanish capital, Zidane has refused to criticise the Welshman.

"I'm not going to speak about Bale's season up to this point," Zidane said. "There are 11 matches left to play and I'm going to count on him.

"I'm going to repeat myself a lot here, but Gareth is ready to play."

Florentino Perez rather mischievously discussed a daring double-bid to bring Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the summer, and whilst it was very much tongue in cheek, Zidane was forced to address it on Friday morning.

"I'm not going to talk about a player that isn't mine," Zidane explained. "What I can tell you is that those two players [Neymar and Mbappe] have a lot of quality.

"I'm only thinking about tomorrow's match."