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Zidane already clear on Real Madrid transfer targets

Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid play at home to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday © AFP/File / JOSE JORDAN

MADRID, Spain, Apr 20 – Zinedine Zidane said on Saturday he knows exactly what kind of players he wants to sign this summer as he looks to revamp Real Madrid’s squad for next season.

Madrid are expected to be busy after a miserable campaign that has left them lying 13 points behind Barcelona in La Liga, after already crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16.

Several players could depart, with Gareth Bale’s future particularly uncertain, while among those likely to arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu is Chelsea forward Eden Hazard.

“I know exactly what I want,” Zidane said at a press conference.

“Nothing is ever concrete with these things, it’s just what you aim to do, your desire to change certain things, that’s all.

“We have talked about player profiles and that is clear in my head. We’ll see what we can do. What is certain is that there will be changes. You can never stand still.”

Zidane was again asked about the likelihood of Welshman Bale staying and offered no guarantees. “We have not talked about that and we’re not going to talk about that,” Zidane said.

“We are thinking about the game tomorrow and nothing else.”

Zidane will have Vinicius Junior at his disposal, whose breakthrough has been one of the only positives for Madrid this season, but who is yet to play under the Frenchman as he has been out since March with a knee injury.

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Vinicius trained on Saturday with the first team and could be in contention to feature on Sunday, when Madrid host in-form Athletic Bilbao.

“I’m glad to see him with us but he has to go slowly,” Zidane said. “He has been out for two months so we have to be very careful with him. He has shown his quality and he is an exciting player for the future.”

Keylor Navas is likely to continue in goal against Bilbao, with Thibaut Courtois recovering from a thigh injury. Captain Sergio Ramos is struggling with a calf strain.

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