Zinedine Zidane: 'No internal battle with Real Madrid board'

Zidane: 'No internal battle with Madrid board'
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane responds to claims that he 'won his internal battle' with club chiefs after Kepa Arrizabalaga committed his future to Athletic Bilbao.

Zinedine Zidane has refuted suggestions that he 'won' his internal battle with Real Madrid chiefs after the club missed out on the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Frenchman was keen to play down suggestions earlier this month that his side were in the running for young goalkeeper Arrizabalaga, who signed a new long-term deal with Athletic Bilbao on Monday.

Madrid boss Zidane has instead made clear that any new signings can wait until the summer, leading to reports in the Spanish press that the 45-year-old got one over on his bosses as he wants to wait for another keeper to become available.

Asked if he got his way, however, Zidane told reporters at his weekly presser: "I said the other day that if the strategy of the club wants it, then all players can come in June. But my idea for the club – and we're working together – is not to change things at the moment and that's all.

"It bothers me a little when I hear comments saying that I've 'won the battle'. My main worry is my players and what they do at Real Madrid; the rest isn't my business and doesn't affect me.

"You know how it is, I face you (the media), explain to you my way of thinking. The important thing is that my philosophy is that I'm with my players - they're the important ones, the ones here. If they play and train well, then we'll do good things here.

"I need to protect my squad, but when I say that I mean because they're my players. I've nothing against Kepa or any other player. I never want to be seen like that."

Thibaut Courtois and David de Gea of Chelsea and Manchester United respectively are understood to be high on Zidane's summer wishlist as he seeks a new number one.

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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