Zinedine Zidane maintains that neither Gareth Bale nor Karim Benzema are in “danger” of being offloaded by Real Madrid.
Speculation heading towards the summer transfer window continues to suggest that the pair could be among those moved out in order to free up space and funds for big-money additions.
Bale is seeing his future called into question during another injury-ravaged season in Spain, while Benzema has struggled for goals and form while operating in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zidane is aware that both are now being billed as surplus to requirements, but the Frenchman is adamant that he has no intention of sanctioning sales.
Quizzed again on the potential exits for Bale and Benzema ahead of the Liga clash with Athletic Bilbao, the Blancos boss said: “I do not think their future is in danger here.
“That’s [transfer talk] football, we need all the players.
“They do not make a bad impression on me. They train well. Of course, they would like to play more often, but apart from that, everyone works well.
“It will always be the case that some players are in better form than others.”
Zidane has also addressed ongoing rumours regarding his reported hunt for a new goalkeeper.
Keylor Navas is another of those to have seen their ongoing presence at Santiago Bernabeu called into question, with Manchester United’s David de Gea and Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois mooted as possible replacements.
Zidane is, however, happy with his options for now, with son Luca and former Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla providing back-up to first-choice option Navas, who remains under contract until 2020.
“In January we did not, and [now] do not need to sign a goalkeeper,” added the Madrid chief.
“We had three then and we still have three now, maybe in the future the situation will change when we need a goalkeeper and we can discuss that then.”