Zinedine Zidane sidesteps talk of Neymar moving to Real Madrid

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would not be drawn on a big move for Neymar. (Reuters)
Updated 11 May 2018
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Zinedine Zidane sidesteps talk of Neymar moving to Real Madrid

  • Neymar is thought to be restless at PSG
  • 'I am not going there ... the rest we will talk about later'

MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Friday sidestepped talk of a bid for the world's most expensive footballer Neymar.
"I dont know, I don't think so. What we are thinking about at the moment is the Champions League final," Zidane told a press conference when asked about a possible move for the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star.
It's "normal that people talk," he added, "but I am not going there, because we are focusing on the season and the rest we will talk about later."
Zidane's squad take on Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26, looking to win the trophy for a third year in a row.
Pushed about whether Neymar would fit in to the Real setup and would be compatible with Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane said, "the good ones are always compatible (with each other."
Real President Florentino Pérez has made no secret of his desire to recruit Neymar, sparking daily rumours of transfer moves for the Brazilian star who played for Spanish rivals Barcelona from 2013-2017 before moving to French champions PSG.
Neymar returned to Paris on Friday to continue his recovery, two months after undergoing surgery on a broken bone in his foot in his native Brazil. He is unlikely to play again for PSG this season, his focus now on being ready in time for Brazil's World Cup bid in June and July, but he was at Tuesday's French Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and minnows Les Herbiers.
"He is fully motivated but sad that he can't train with us," PSG captain Thiago Silva said. "Neymar is doing well. It's clear he's making progress. He's already working in the gym."


Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

Updated 20 January 2019
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Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ease past Huddersfield to cut Liverpool’s Premier League lead

HUDDERSFIELD: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was far from satisfied despite a 3-0 win away to Huddersfield Town on Sunday that saw his side cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League table to four points.
Liverpool’s compelling 4-3 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday heaped huge pressure back onto reigning champions City but they were rarely troubled by a Town side that look a certain bet for relegation this season.
City’s first goal, a deflected strike for Danilo in the 18th minute, brought up their 100th goal of the season in all competitions before Raheem Sterling scored a diving header from Leroy Sane’s cross in the 54th minute and Sane himself made it 3-0 with a calm finish just two minutes later.
For Guardiola, it should have been an afternoon of enjoyment as his side again proved their willingness to push Liverpool all the way this season.
The City manager, however, has forged a footballing reputation based on sublime performances as well as ruthless goalscoring and, on that basis, his team’s showing in West Yorkshire was not a success as the visitors never really clicked into gear on a day against a Huddersfield side who had parted company with manager David Wagner on Monday.
“During the season you have these kind of games,” Guardiola said. “It is important to win. We have scored many goals in all competitions.
“(But) the way we played, we didn’t deserve more than three goals. We will improve in the future.
“We have to demand more from ourselves in every game and do our best, but sometimes it’s difficult.
“Today we are happy we have won but after immediately we have to analyze. During the season you have games when maybe you are not in the top level and it is important to win these games.”
Although City’s fans were happier than their manager following this result, Guardiola could at least take some heart from the fact his side again refused to blink first in the race for the title.
For the second consecutive week, City kicked off knowing Liverpool had already won their weekend fixture and that, consequently, the onus was back on his players to secure three points as well.
Once again, Guardiola’s side managed to do that following up the 3-0 victory over Wolves with this showing and the City manager was more than happy to remind everybody that silverware is not handed out for another four months.
“One team has been better but we’re in January and there’s many more games to play,” he added.
“You don’t win or lose the Premier League in January. We have to focus on what we have to do. If Liverpool win, we have to win. And if Liverpool lose then we also have to win.”
This match was a baptism of fire for Huddersfield’s caretaker boss Mark Hudson and while the Terriers showed impressive fight to inspire some hope this season, this defeat still left them 10 points adrift of safety.
If, as expected, the Borussia Dortmund Under-23 coach Jan Siewert is appointed as Wagner’s permanent replacement, nobody would blame him if he spent his first day in the job preparing for a return to the second-tier Championship next season.
“It’s been a long week,” admitted Hudson.