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Zidane: “I’ve not been told anything about Luka Jović’s exit yet”

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The coach also repeated his thoughts on the El Sadar pitch. 

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane spoke at a press conference on Wednesday night about a number of issues, ahead of the Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Athletic Club on Thursday.

One of the main talking points was LaLiga president Javier Tebas’ response to Zidane’s comments about the El Sadar pitch, with Tebas saying that such comments were “excuses”. Asked if he still maintains his view that Saturday’s match shouldn’t have been played on that pitch, Zidane replied: “Of course. But, I’m not going to reply to what [Tebas] said. It’s in the past now and what interests me and my players most is tomorrow’s game. I said what I said the other day and that was what I thought in that moment. It wasn’t an excuse. It was obvious. But, it’s in the past. We’re thinking about tomorrow’s match now.” Zidane was pressed on that issue, but stated that he wasn’t going to answer any more questions about the drama of the weekend’s trip to Osasuna.

Another major talking point was Luka Jović, whose loan back to Eintracht Frankfurt is expected to be confirmed on Thursday. But, Zidane claimed he hadn’t been told about the striker’s departure yet. He said: “Luka Jović is still with us. He’s not here right now because he’s injured, but he is with us. They’ve not told me anything right now, so he’s with us and we’ll see what happens. He’s a striker who scores goals. That’s what we want from him. He is only 21 and he’s still young. He may not have had much luck as he’s also had some difficulties with the adaptation and it’s not easy when you’re 21, but he can learn many things and do so calmly. But, he’s always going to have his same qualities. I have no doubt about that.”

Moving on to discuss the game against Athletic Club, Zidane highlighted the good preparation work that has been carried out in Málaga. He said: “We’ve been here for four days preparing for the match and we’re prepared. We know we’re facing a strong opponent and that we’ll have to work hard and fight. We’ll try to do that and have a good match.”

Martin Ødegaard was also brought up and the coach insisted that the Norwegian has a bright future at Real Madrid. Zidane said: “I think he is a player who is surely going to success at Real Madrid. It’s true that he hasn’t played much recently, but the idea is for him to keep working. He’ll have minutes and we’ll need him, because he’ll contribute things. This is just a temporary thing, but I think he’s doing good.”

Finally, Zidane was asked about the fact that Karim Benzema could return to the France national team if a new president is elected. “That would be good news,” were the only words of his answer to that.