Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo is going nowhere and described the Portuguese star as the "soul" of the current Blancos team.
Ronaldo has recently been linked with a summer move to a number of top European clubs, including Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, per the Telegraph's Matt Law.
However, Zidane denied any possibility of the 30-year-old leaving the Bernabeu as he spoke ahead of Real's Primera Division clash with Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, per Spanish outlet AS:
AS English @English_AS
Asked about Ronaldo and PSG, the Frenchman noted: "Cristiano is more than non-transferable. He is the soul of the team. He's going nowhere."2016-1-8 12:52:45
The home match with Depor will be Zidane's first in charge of Madrid following his appointment as Rafael Benitez's replacement on Monday.
It is a key game for Madrid, as they need to get back to winning ways if they are to keep pace in the Liga title race, having dropped two points at Valencia last time out.
Zidane's assurances that Ronaldo is not for sale will likely appease the Bernabeu faithful, and he clearly has confidence in his squad, as he also rejected the idea of making any transfers—either in or out—in the near future, per Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan: "I do not believe anyone will leave. I do not want that. We will see what happens, but I don't want any of them to leave. I don't expect signings neither, I have a good group, with numbers, am happy with squad I have."
While few expected many major moves from Real in the winter transfer window, Zidane's comments are unlikely to quash rumours linking Ronaldo with a potential summer move.
Bleacher Report recently assessed potential summer landing spots for the former Manchester United man, with PSG coming out as favourites to sign him:
However, Real and Zidane will surely be desperate to keep him as he remains the key man in the Blancos side.
Despite the fact he will turn 31 in February, he is showing no signs of slowing down and finished 2015 with a quite staggering goal return, per the Champions League:
Champions League @ChampionsLeague
Real Madrid 3-1 Real Sociedad. Two goals for Cristiano Ronaldo... he finishes 2015 with 57 goals in 57 matches! https://t.co/lLQIiZND7H2015-12-30 16:53:52
He was also included in the UEFA Team of the Year for the 10th time in his career on Friday, a decent measure of his remarkable consistency, per the Champions League:
Zidane is rightly eager to hold onto him for as long as possible and will likely look to keep him involved at the very heart of his plans as Real go in search of Primera Division and Champions League glory in 2016.