A frustrated Zinedine Zidane claims “it seems that when I answer questions about James Rodriguez, I want him to go” ahead of Real Madrid-Celta Vigo.
James remains Madrid’s likeliest, high-profile departure before August 31 according to the foreign Press, and Zidane appeared to give mixed messages on the midfielder’s future as, while describing him as a “great player”, he admitted “some players could leave”.
“It’s the first home game and we started the League well at a difficult pitch,” the Coach said at a Press conference ahead of Saturday’s La Liga match – the season’s first at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“[Celta] are very good opponents and we know the quality they have, but our fans will go to the game and that’s very good for us.
“[On the transfer window], I’ll say the same thing [as always]. Anything can happen until the 31st.
“No-one will surely arrive, but some players may leave. The squad today is this and I’m happy with it.
“There are players who haven’t returned yet, but the season will be difficult and we’ll need all our players.
“It seems that when I answer [questions about James], I want James to go… He’s a great player who’s still under contract.
“It’s true that he’s played less, but I always try to make the players feel important and James is like the others.
“[On madridistas in the national team], everyone wants to play for their country. It’s very important, and to be at this great club is the best, but playing for your country is important and they’ve each earned it by working [hard].
“[Starting the season well] is the way to go because we’ll also find other tough opponents playing well.
“The idea is always the same: we have our first game at home in front of our fans and we’ll try to get the three points.
“I haven’t spoken to James or anyone in particular lately. I speak collectively with everyone.
“[On Alvaro Morata], if he can score tomorrow [Saturday], perfect. I’m happy with him, he’s fine physically, he’s improving, in a good dynamic, always fights and runs, plus he has that important characteristic when he doesn’t have the ball.
“[Gerard Pique] can think what he wants, we won the Champions League and fought for it.
“Winning consecutive Champions Leagues is difficult, and more so because of the competition as there are no easy games.
“I have 25 players and they’re all important. They can all play, and this is what I think as a Coach.
“[On Iker Casillas’ Spain omission], I know him well but I won’t go into [Julen] Lopetegui’s decision.
“[Marcelo] isn’t better now than he was before, he’s unique and very good, and I’m happy that he’s back with his country. He has to be there because he’s an important player for Madrid.
“Although [Raphael Varane] has received some great offers, the most important thing is that he’s decided to stay. I have four very good centre-backs, but I can only play two.”