'He's not thinking about leaving' – Zidane insists Morata wants Real Madrid stay
The Blancos boss is confident his Spain international striker and Isco want to remain at the Bernabeu but appears less certain about Pepe’s future
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insists that striker Alvaro Morata does not want to leave the club at the end of the season.
The Spain international is reported to have grown frustrated with a lack of opportunities in the starting line-up since his return from Juventus and has been heavily linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.
Chelsea target summer move for Morata
Some reports in England have claimed that Morata has even told close friends that he expects to join Premier League leaders Chelsea before next season, with Antonio Conte said to have identified the 24-year-old as the ideal replacement for Diego Costa, if he moves to China.
But although Zidane admits that Morata wants more first-team football, he has denied the suggestion that he is determined to force an exit.
“I think Morata is committed to what he’s doing,” he told a news conference.
Morata plays down transfer talk
“He wants to play more, like every player. He’s going to have minutes – I don’t know how many.
“He’s not thinking about leaving here as this is his home.”
on the !#RMCity #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/7aRBAn4xBQ
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 4, 2017
Zidane also refused to entertain speculation over the future of midfielder Isco, who continues to be linked with a move.
“I’m satisfied with Isco, he’s doing well,” he said. “He’s a decisive player. He trains well, I’m happy with what he’s doing and he’s committed to the project. I’m not interested in the rest.”
Madrid game could be called off
Zidane was less certain about the future of centre-back Pepe, however, with the 33-year-old having entered the final few months of his contract.
The Portugal international is another to be linked with the lucrative Chinese Super League, but although Zidane is keen for him to extend his Madrid career, he appears unsure of Pepe’s intentions.
“He’s not thinking now about his situation, about what will happen in June,” Zidane said. “He’s just thinking about what he’s doing now and we’re also thinking about having Pepe until June. Then we’ll see what will happen.
Zidane expects Real trio to stay
“With what Pepe has done in 10 years at the club, you have to respect what goes on.
“I would prefer Pepe to stay until he says so. He has been and he still is an important player in the squad. In June, we’ll see what happens. Of course I want him to stay.”