Zinedine Zidane spent most of his press conference on Thursday providing updates on the availability of his players. It’s already known that Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal will miss out vs Alavés due to suspension and that Nacho remains injured, but he also discussed several of the other members of the squad.
Perhaps most surprisingly, Zidane revealed that Vinícius had to miss Thursday’s training session as a precaution after a routine COVID-19 test that he’d taken had “gone badly”. Asked what he meant by “gone badly”, Zidane said the following: “It’s not negative or positive. Sometimes there are errors. When that happens, both we and LaLiga decide that the player can’t train. We’ll see how it goes. He’ll have the results of the retaken test later this afternoon and I hope he’ll be with us tomorrow.”
Luka Jović is also unavailable, after he came into contact with a friend who test positive for COVID-19. Zidane explained that and also responded to reports that the club are looking to sell the striker. He said: “He’s not with us today. I hope he’ll be with us soon. As a footballer, he is a very good footballer. He is a striker who scores many goals. It’s true that he hasn’t played much, but he is young and we’re counting on him for next season. I know there is a lot of debate over the players, but we’ll see next year. This year he has had little things that have hurt him, but we’ll see.”
Discussing injuries, Zidane revealed that Raphaël Varane is fully recovered and that Eden Hazard will be back too. On the Belgian, he said: “Hazard wants to play and he isn’t scared. Those who know more about the medical situation tell me what is happening. Everything is fine, but sometimes there is a bit of pain after a match or a tough training session. Tomorrow, he’ll be with us.”
Finally, the coach revealed that Marcelo has suffered an injury and that he’ll need a scan. With Marcelo joining Nacho, Carvajal and Ramos on the absentee list, Real Madrid will struggle to complete their defence in Friday’s Alavés match. But, Zidane isn’t concerned. “I know what I’ll do for my line-up tomorrow, but, as always, I won’t say so here,” he said.