Lopetegui swerves Neymar & Mbappe speculation by talking up Bale & Benzema

Julen Lopetegui considers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to be “fantastic players” but is reluctant to be drawn on Real Madrid’s links to the PSG pair.

The Blancos are forever in the market for ‘Galactico’ signings and are generally prepared to pay whatever it takes to get said deals done.

Neymar is considered to have registered on their radar since leaving Clasico rivals Barcelona for France as part of a record-breaking deal in 2017.

World Cup-winning France international Mbappe is another to have long been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with Madrid having been beaten to his signature by PSG last summer.

Both fearsome frontmen were mooted as possible replacements for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Spanish capital during the most recent window, but no deals were done.

With that in mind, Madrid boss Lopetegui would prefer to keep focus locked on those already on his books, telling Onda Cero: “An interest in Neymar and Mbappe? I will not talk about players who are not part of my team, it would be disrespectful. 

“I like [Gareth] Bale, [Karim] Benzema and Lucas Vasquez. 

“Neymar and Mbappe are two fantastic players, but I do not pay attention, they are not in my team.”

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That situation may change at some stage in the future, but for now Madrid have opted against bringing in cover for Ronaldo.

With the Portuguese now on the books at Serie A champions Juventus, the Blancos have seen Bale and Benzema open the 2018-19 campaign in impressive style.

Their ability to maintain those standards is likely to dictate how long it takes for fresh rumours regarding interest in Neymar and Mbappe to resurface.

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