Zinedine Zidane Discusses Future of Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Isco, More

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 14: coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid during the   Training session Real Madrid on April 14, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane addressed the exit speculation regarding Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Isco on Sunday, not ruling out a move for any player but saying any changes won't be made until the end of the season.

Zizou faced the press ahead of Monday's match against Leganes and was asked about several players. Per AS, his comments regarding Bale were short: "There are seven games left. Let's see how we play. There will be changes but Gareth is part of the team."

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 06: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid substitutes Toni Kroos of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and SD Eibar at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 06, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

He had more to say on Kroos:

"Toni is a key player. He's been at Madrid five years and has done great things. He's a great player that brings calm. I've always liked him. Everyone speaks about Toni, and other players, in terms of whether I want them or not. Every player is good and important. There will be changes but not right now, at the end of the season."

When asked if he would admit someone like Isco could balance the books for the club in a sale, Zidane said others could as well: "Many players at Madrid would be good for balancing the books. They are all very good players and other clubs are interested in all of them, not just Isco. But I'm not going to say any more."

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 6: (L-R) coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid, Isco of Real Madrid during the La Liga Santander  match between Real Madrid v Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 6, 2019 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Gett
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Finally, he said Karim Benzema would be compatible with any true out-and-out striker should such a player arrive.

Transfer speculation has been rampant since Zidane returned to Real, as he's expected to overhaul the squad following what has been a disastrous 2018-19 campaign.

The club has been linked with a host of potential reinforcements, with the most notable name being Paul Pogba. The speculation in the Spanish press regarding the Manchester United man has taken on silly proportions at this point:

In order to fund the many transfers the media are predicting, players will have to be sold. No one has been mentioned more as a potential casualty than Bale, with AS' Manu Sainz reporting he'll get to pick his next club himself as a token of good will.

Kroos' name has also come up in the past few days, and the Germany international took to social media to rubbish reports he's keen on a transfer:

The speculation isn't likely to go away anytime soon, however. While rivals Barcelona are still active in the UEFA Champions League and are steaming to yet another La Liga title, Real have no silverware left to play for.

Their focus is on potentially overtaking Atletico Madrid for second place in La Liga and assessing the squad as much as possible ahead of what should be a busy summer. The local press has little else to write about, and they're likely to keep going to the transfer front as a result.

Zidane has been answering questions like these for weeks, and he'll likely have to keep doing so for the rest of the season.

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