Luka Jovic leaving Eintracht Frankfurt for Real Madrid is a "real possibility, according to sporting director Fredi Bobic.

Jovic has been linked with LaLiga champions Barcelona, however, Spanish giants Madrid have reportedly emerged as favourites to sign the in-demand Eintracht star.

The 21-year-old Serbia striker has scored 25 goals in all competitions this season and his two-year loan from Benfica became permanent last week.

Amid the growing speculation over Jovic's future, Eintracht director Bobic told ZDF: "There's a real possibility that Jovic signs for Real Madrid.

"I hope and want him to stay here at Eintracht, but I'm also realistic and know that if a big club like Real Madrid want him then we haven't got a chance of keeping him."

Of Jovic's 25 goals, 17 of those have come in the Bundesliga as Eintracht sit fourth in the standings – the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Jovic's eight Europa League goals have also helped Eintracht reach the semi-finals, with Premier League side Chelsea awaiting in the last four.

Barcelona and Real Madrid target Luka Jovic is a "natural-born killer" who will undoubtedly become one of the best strikers in the world, according to Savo Milosevic.

Jovic has been linked with LaLiga giants Barca and Madrid after taking Europe by storm this season, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has scored more 2018-19 Bundesliga goals than Jovic (17), whose two-year loan from Portuguese giants Benfica became permanent last week.

Eintracht are reportedly set to cash in on Jovic amid interest from Barca and Madrid, and 102-time Serbia international Milosevic, who hails from the same city – Bijeljina – as his countryman, insisted the 21-year-old striker is destined for greatness.

"Luka is very, very, very special. His capacity for scoring goals is incredible," Milosevic – now head coach of Serbian side Partizan Belgrade – told Omnisport.

"From any position and with any part of the body, he simply senses the goal. He is a natural-born killer.

"You cannot train some of those things. You have them or not. He will be one of the best strikers in the world in a few years, I have no doubt about it.

"He is still a kid. He is showing some incredible things."

Milosevic, who spent time with Real Zaragoza, Espanyol, Celta Vigo and Osasuna during his successful playing career as a striker, added: "Both of the big clubs would be great for him and he would be great for Barca or Madrid.

"It would be a good solution for any of those two clubs."

 Luka Jović this season = 


#UEL | @eintracht_eng pic.twitter.com/fX7lWXuRXl

— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) April 18, 2019

Jovic's goals have helped Eintracht up to fourth in the Bundesliga – the final Champions League qualifying spot – as the German side prepare for a blockbuster Europa League semi-final against Chelsea.

Thomas Tuchel reiterated Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe will not leave the Ligue 1 champions despite links with Real Madrid.

Mbappe has reportedly emerged as a target for LaLiga giants Madrid, who are still looking to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo after his move to Juventus last year.

The 20-year-old insisted he will not join Zinedine Zidane's side at the end of the season following his hat-trick in a 3-1 win against Monaco on Sunday, as PSG celebrated their sixth Ligue 1 title in seven seasons.

Asked about Mbappe – who became the youngest player to score 30 Ligue 1 goals in a single campaign – and his future post-match, head coach Tuchel told reporters: "The president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi] has always told me the same thing: there are no opportunities for other clubs to buy Kylian this summer.

"I've always been convinced that he'll always be our player. This is important to achieve all our objectives. To win, we need players like Kylian.

"We need to have Kylian on the team. He's a decisive player for us, he can improve, he shows it every week, every three days. There's nothing else to say about Kylian; I've already said everything.

"If we play for PSG, everyone expects us to win; we expect that from us, too. For that, we need the best players like Kylian in attack. If he plays, everyone is confident of scoring anytime."

PSG retained their Ligue 1 crown before they faced Monaco in Paris following Lille's goalless draw at Toulouse earlier on Sunday.

"I was very, very happy today after Lille's draw against Toulouse because after that we were sure to be champions," added Tuchel, who replaced Unai Emery prior to the start of the season.

"It was a good feeling. Everyone expected us to be champions sooner but when you are finally champions, it's different. This is my first championship and it's really special.

"For that, I say thank you to all the staff and players because without a player, it is not possible to win trophies as a coach."

Kylian Mbappe is adamant he will not join Real Madrid at the end of the season, reassuring Paris Saint-Germain fans he is set to stay.

Mbappe scored a hat-trick in Sunday's 3-1 win over his former side Monaco as PSG celebrated in style after being confirmed as Ligue 1 champions following Lille's 0-0 draw with Toulouse earlier in the day.

The France international has often been tentatively linked with Madrid during his fledgling career, with Los Blancos said to have been interested in him when he was still at Monaco.

Those links resurfaced when Zinedine Zidane returned to Madrid as coach in March, with the Spanish giants reportedly eager to sign a superstar having not adequately replaced Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus last year.

But Mbappe – who became the youngest player to score 30 Ligue 1 goals in a single season on Sunday – is convinced he will be staying at the Parc des Princes.

"Yes, I am sure to stay," he told Canal Plus. "I am invested in this project here.

"It's good for Real Madrid that they have Zinedine Zidane. I will tune in to their matches as an admirer."

Zinedine Zidane believes that Karim Benzema is the best striker in world football after the Frenchman's hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao.

Real Madrid were far from at their best on Sunday, but claimed the points thanks to Benzema, who scored for a fifth game running as his sensational season continued.

Benzema has now netted 29 goals in all competitions this term and Zidane is delighted that the former Lyon man's quality has come to the fore.

"He's two goals shy of his best record here," said the Madrid boss. "Everyone has their tastes. For me, he is the best.

"It is impressive what he is doing at the level of goals and I am happy for him. He has a lot of confidence and always wants to improve."

Substitute Gareth Bale received whistles when he came onto the pitch and he squandered an opportunity to add further gloss to the victory before teeing up Benzema for his hat-trick goal.

Zidane, however, was left puzzled by the Madrid fans' negative reaction to Bale.

"I do not get it," Zidane said when asked about the treatment of the Wales star.

"[Bale] had a chance to score and I would have liked him to do it. I will not go into the rest.

"We played a great game, we were superior, all we missed was the goal, we are happy with what we did."

Real Madrid defender Marcelo still feels at "home" at the club and appears determined to stay despite rumours linking him with a move away.

It has been a difficult season in general for Madrid, as they are on their third coach of the campaign and likely to finish no higher than third in LaLiga, despite Sunday's 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao.

Marcelo has also suffered individually, regularly finding himself out of the team under Zinedine Zidane's predecessor Santiago Solari and his form has shown few signs of returning to the high levels of previous seasons.

Transfer rumours were particularly rife before Zidane's return in March, with the Frenchman suggesting earlier this month that he wants to keep Marcelo amid talk of interest from Juventus.

And the Brazilian seemingly has no plans to end his 12-year stay anytime soon.

Speaking to beIN SPORTS after Sunday's victory, the 30-year-old said: "Everyone knows the happiness I have, and I show that every day training or playing, wearing this shirt.

"There are so many things that are said from outside, I think. I don't think about that. Madrid is my home, and those who know me know the truth."

Karim Benzema led the way for Madrid against Athletic, one of few players to impress in what was another underwhelming performance.

The striker scored all three goals as Madrid claimed a flattering victory and Marcelo paid tribute to his team-mate.

"We all know the quality that Karim has, what he brings to the team, getting goals or not," he added,

"He is one of the leaders of this team. I'm very happy about the goals, but Karim will be happier about the victory that we needed a lot, rather than the goals."

Madrid sit third in the table, four points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid in second and 13 adrift of leaders Barcelona with five games to go.

A hat-trick from Karim Benzema saw Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in LaLiga on Sunday to bounce back from a disappointing draw at Leganes last time out.

Zinedine Zidane's men were left seven points behind bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in second after their win over Eibar on Saturday, but Los Blancos just about did enough thanks to Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu in a match that will not live long in the memory.

Madrid were especially poor and lacking in ideas against an Athletic side up for a scuffle during a woeful first half that did little to capture the imagination.

But the breakthrough did arrive early in the second half courtesy of the in-form Benzema, and he added two well-taken finishes late on to wrap up a fairly straightforward win over Champions League-chasing Athletic.

A frustratingly scrappy first half passed with precious little excitement, as Athletic's attackers failed to link up particularly effectively and Madrid lacked cutting edge.

The most promising move at either end resulted in the only shot on target of the first 45 minutes just before half-time, as Raul Garcia's header from a corner was easy plucked from the air by Navas.

Madrid quickly stepped things up after the break, however, as Benzema rose to meet Marco Asensio's cross with a header that was too powerful for Iago Herrerin to keep out.

Benzema was taking the game to Athletic almost singlehandedly and went close again just before the hour, receiving Lucas Vazquez's cut-back and putting a first-time effort agonisingly wide of the bottom-left corner.

The Frenchman found the target 13 minutes from time, however, nodding in a Luka Modric corner to make the most of Herrerin's poor positioning.

And Herrerin was culpable again in stoppage-time, coming way out of his goal and botching a clearance, allowing substitute Gareth Bale to tee up Benzema to seal his hat-trick with a 30-yard finish into the open goal.

 

What does it mean? Second still in reach for Madrid

Although it is hardly a huge achievement, Madrid can certainly still steal second place from Atletico in their final five games, with Diego Simeone's men just four points ahead.

However, you would have to think they cannot afford to drop any more points if they want to usurp Atletico and, judging from Sunday's display, that might be expecting a little much of them.

Benzema carries Madrid

Hardly anyone in a Madrid shirt stood out on Sunday, with the team's performance generally underwhelming and lacking in invention. Benzema, however, battled away with Athletic's physical defence, got all three goals and could have had another. Los Blancos would be in a much worse position this season without him.

Herrerin horror show

Although few Athletic players had a good game, their goalkeeper Herrerin was by far the worst. He got a hand to Benzema's first goal and failed to keep it out, then got caught completely out of position for the French striker's second and his dreadful clearance directly led to the last goal. A nightmare for the goalkeeper.

What's next?

Madrid face a short trip to Champions League-chasing Getafe next time out on Thursday, while Athletic return to the capital a day earlier to face Leganes

Zinedine Zidane must find a way to make his Real Madrid players hungry again, says Clarence Seedorf.

Madrid reappointed Zidane as head coach in March after failed experiments with Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari during a desperately disappointing season by their own lofty standards, which has seen them fall way off the pace in LaLiga and crash out of the Champions League to Ajax in the last 16.

The club legend had led Madrid to three straight Champions League trophies as well as winning LaLiga in the 2016-17 campaign before resigning after beating Liverpool in last season's European showpiece.

Since returning to the dugout, Madrid have lost just once in the five matches Zidane has overseen but there remains a lack of fluency about their play, while they are locked in a battle with Atletico Madrid to finish second behind Barcelona.

And Seedorf believes Zidane has to find a way to reset the mindset and objectives of his players to get them firing again.

"It's very understandable that the club chose that route [to appoint Zidane]," Seedorf, who won LaLiga and the Champions League with Madrid during his playing days, told the Daily Mail.

"It's a new challenge, it's a new day. There is good harmony with him and the players for sure.

"It's still this season that is difficult, so you can rebuild from a mental point of view, create that hunger again and set new goals which are not simply winning the Champions League or the league, but how you win, how you play."

Seedorf believes Zidane's experience as one of the world's greatest former players will continue to stand him in good stead as Madrid coach.

"Having had the experience that Zidane has had as a player, it's an incredible added value when it comes to understanding the players, understanding the dressing room and everything about the game," he added.

"There is the other part, which is managing people, programming your training sessions, dealing with all the aspects around the team, which is a whole different ball game. Some are more prepared than others to do it.

"Having been there is an extra. It's not the decisive factor, but it can be if you have the other stuff in place."

Zinedine Zidane said that Real Madrid's directors know who his transfer targets are but was tight-lipped on whether Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe is one of them.

With Gareth Bale rumoured to be on his way out of the Santiago Bernabeu, speculation is rife about potential additions to Los Blancos' strike force and France international Mbappe is frequently linked with a lucrative move to Madrid.

Speaking ahead of his side's clash with Athletic Bilbao, Zidane confirmed he is in talks with his employers about the players he wants to bring in, but refused to shed light on the names on his list.

"You can ask and I will answer what I want. I will not get into anything - not names or anything," Zidane told Saturday's news conference.

"I talk to the club about the type of player I want, as I know that perfectly well, but not here."

Asked whether he had discussed Bale's future with the club's owners, Zidane replied: "We have not spoken about that, and we are just thinking about tomorrow's game, nothing else."

Madrid go into their clash with Athletic trailing second-placed Atletico Madrid by four points and having won just one of their past three LaLiga matches.

Zidane warned that his side's seventh-placed visitors, who beat Rayo Vallecano 3-2 last time out, would make life difficult for Madrid but backed his players to raise their game after a disappointing 1-1 draw at Leganes.

"Lately they have not lost many games and are playing much better than at the start of the season," said Zidane.

"A good team, Athletic have always been very difficult to play against, and tomorrow they will make it tough. But it's a good game for us to play well, play better.

"We have six games left to move this forward. We must play better before the season ends, to play well would be good for everyone. But in training we are getting better each week, and tomorrow we will try and show that on the pitch."

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Odriozola is likely to be out for the rest of the season after breaking his collarbone.

The Spain international reportedly fell awkwardly in training after a challenge with team-mate Vinicius Junior.

The club confirmed on Friday that the full-back has suffered a fracture and, while there is no time frame on his recovery, he is expected to miss his side's remaining six LaLiga matches of 2018-19.

Odriozola has played only 14 league games since moving from Real Sociedad in a reported €35million deal but has been a regular in the side since Zinedine Zidane returned to the club last month.

Madrid face Athletic Bilbao, Getafe, Rayo Vallecano, Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Real Betis in their final matches of the season.

Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello has claimed that his old club have €500million to spend in the transfer market.

Los Blancos have endured a poor season, sitting 13 points off the pace in LaLiga having been humiliated by Ajax in the Champions League round of 16 and outclassed by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

Madrid have been linked with high-profile moves for Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Capello expects them to spend big.

"They told me Real Madrid have €500million to spend on signings," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"I was in Barcelona this week and someone who knows Real Madrid really well told me that."

This season's Champions League has thrown up more contenders for the best matches in the history of the competition, with the semi-final stage still to come.

Manchester City's 4-3 defeat of Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday was an all-time classic, with Spurs progressing on away goals 4-4 on aggregate after two moments of high VAR drama.

Earlier this season alone, Ajax stunned Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu while Manchester United made history of their own by overturning a 2-0 first-leg loss to knock out Paris Saint-Germain.

United, of course, are no strangers to dramatic turnarounds in this competition, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows well from his treble-winning exploits 20 years ago.

But where do this season's results rank among the top Champions League matches in the competition's history? Omnisport picks out 10 of the best.

Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (6-5 agg), 2017

Barcelona remain the perpetrators of the most remarkable of all Champions League comebacks.

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored either side of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, only for Edinson Cavani to grab what was expected to be the decisive strike for the visitors.

However, two quickfire Neymar goals – the second a highly controversial penalty after an apparent Suarez dive – levelled the tie at 5-5.

Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Sergi Roberto struck to create a slice of Champions League history – no side had ever turned around a four-goal first-leg deficit before.

 

Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg, Roma won on away goals), 2018

Comeback kings Barca were dethroned in the Italian capital last year as Roma completed one of the most unlikely turnarounds in quarter-final history.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side came back from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the last eight on away goals after a thrilling 3-0 win in front of their home fans.

Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured the 4-4 aggregate draw and sent the Stadio Olimpico into raptures, as Barca completely fell to pieces.

Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan (5-4 agg), 2004

Deportivo were among Spain's major forces just after the turn of the century and one of their finest moments in Europe came in April 2004 when, despite being 4-1 down from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with AC Milan, they stunned the Italians at home.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque had Depor ahead on away goals before half-time, with Fran Gonzalez – who played for them in the second division in the late 80s and is still their record appearance holder – fittingly scored the fourth to make sure of their passage.

Depor were eliminated by eventual winners Porto in the semi-finals, but this comeback stood as arguably the very best in Champions League history until Barca went one better.

 

Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (AET, 3-2 on pens), 2005

That famous night in Istanbul. Liverpool found themselves on the end of a hiding at half-time in the 2005 Champions League final, as Paolo Maldini and a Hernan Crespo brace had the Serie A side 3-0 up.

But the second half proved to be one of the most iconic 45 minutes in Liverpool's history, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso levelling the match up by the hour mark.

Milan then failed to hold their nerve in the penalty shootout, as Jerzy Dudek's leggy antics in the Liverpool goal helped the Pole outsmart both Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko after Serginho blazed the first kick over, resulting in the Premier League side lifting their fifth European title.

 

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, 1999

Possibly the two most dramatic minutes in the history of European club football.

United were trailing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the 1999 final at Camp Nou, with Mario Basler's skidding free-kick into the bottom-right corner looking set to be enough for the Bavarian giants to end a 23-year wait for glory in the continent's top-tier competition.

However, the United of Alex Ferguson's era could never be discounted until the final whistle, and substitute Teddy Sheringham swept Ryan Giggs' shot into the bottom corner to bring the scores level in the 91st minute.

Solskjaer, another late substitute and now the man in the United dug-out, avoided the need for extra time by stabbing Sheringham's header from a David Beckham corner into the roof of the net as United completed an historic treble in astonishing fashion.

 

Monaco 3-1 Real Madrid (5-5 agg, Monaco won on away goals), 2004

Monaco were an unexpected member of the last eight in the 2003-04 Champions League and had seemingly been put in their place after losing 4-2 at Real Madrid in the first leg, even if Fernando Morientes – on loan from the Spanish giants – netted their second late on to give them a chance.

A Raul goal nine minutes before the break in the return leg in Monte Carlo made their task even tougher, but Monaco rallied admirably – Ludovic Giuly pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, with Morientes then adding a second just after the restart.

Giuly – whose performances with Monaco ultimately earned him a move to Madrid's bitter rivals Barca – grabbed the decisive goal midway through the second half to secure progression, with Didier Deschamps' side finally halted by Porto in the final.

 

Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (AET, 6-4 agg), 2000

A 3-1 first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge – having trailed 3-0 – had Barca in danger of being on the wrong end of a major 1999-00 Champions League upset prior to the Roman Abramovich era, but in the return match the Catalans showed their true class.

Tore Andre Flo's 60th-minute goal was sending Chelsea through despite Rivaldo and Luis Figo scoring before the break, but Dani Garcia scored seven minutes from the end of regulation to force extra time.

Rivaldo then converted a penalty after Celestine Babayaro was sent off and Patrick Kluivert wrapped things up, crushing Chelsea's dreams.

 

Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5-3 agg), 2019

Despite their impressive display in their 2-1 first-leg defeat, nobody really seemed to think Ajax could turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos certainly did not - he earned a booking so as to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, earning an extra-game suspension from UEFA in the process.

In the absence of their captain, Madrid completely capitulated amid a fearless and thrilling Ajax display.

Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour mark thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.

Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone's free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out. It was the first time they had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie.

 

Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Manchester United (3-3 agg, United won on away goals)

Just when you thought nothing would top Ajax's thrashing of Madrid, United made history at Parc des Princes only 24 hours later.

No side had ever won a knockout tie after trailing 2-0 from a first leg at home, and with 10 senior players missing, including the banned Paul Pogba, United's chances looked slim.

Romelu Lukaku scored just two minutes in, though, and despite Juan Bernat's equaliser on the night, Lukaku struck again after a Gianluigi Buffon error to make it 2-1.

As the game crept towards second-half injury time, Diogo Dalot's shot struck Presnel Kimpembe's arm and the referee awarded a penalty after a lengthy VAR review. Marcus Rashford scored it, United progressed, and the clamour for Solskjaer to be given the permanent manager's job grew louder.

Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham (4-4 agg, Spurs won on away goals)

No Champions League match has ever started quite like City v Spurs on Wednesday, when four goals in the first 11 minutes left the football world utterly thrilled.

Son Heung-min struck a brace of crucial away goals after Raheem Sterling opened the scoring, Bernardo Silva then levelling before the England forward made it 3-2.

Sergio Aguero seemed to have sent City into the semi-finals but Fernando Llorente, a first-half substitute due to Moussa Sissoko's injury, bundled in a corner - VAR ruling the goal should not be disallowed for offside.

And then, in added time, Sterling thought he had won the tie and completed his hat-trick in the process, only for the goal to be ruled out for Aguero straying offside in the build-up.

This season's semis, Liverpool v Barcelona and Ajax v Tottenham, have a tough task to match that drama.

Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz has suffered another injury setback after being diagnosed with tendonitis in his right adductor.

Mariano returned to Madrid in August for a reported €20million after a solid season at Lyon, but injuries have wreaked havoc on his season.

The forward, who was essentially signed as Cristiano Ronaldo's replacement and handed the No.7 jersey, suffered hamstring problems towards the end of last year, before then missing the first month of 2019 with a back injury.

Mariano has been restricted to just 11 LaLiga appearances – with only one coming as a starter – and is expected to be out for around three weeks, though Madrid have not put a timescale on his latest absence.

Dani Carvajal insists Real Madrid do not require a "revolution" to bounce back from their disappointing campaign.

Zinedine Zidane's side remain third in LaLiga after a 1-1 draw with Leganes on Monday, 13 points adrift of leaders Barcelona and four behind city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Los Blancos were surprisingly dumped out of the Champions League – a competition they have won for the last three seasons – in the last 16 by Ajax and exited the Copa del Rey at the semi-final stage after defeat to Barca.

Zidane is expected to overhaul his squad ahead of the 2019-20 campaign, with Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos the two most high-profile players rumoured to be on their way.

Carvajal, though, believes they can get back on track with some fine tuning.

"I'm not the one to decide that [who leaves]," he told reporters.

"Those who work on that should look at what the team needs and who from outside the club can help us.

"I do not think there needs to be a revolution. In recent years the team has not changed much and we have been European champions for 1,000 days."

One bright spot in Madrid's season has been the form of Karim Benzema, who has done his best to fill the goalscoring void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus at the start of the campaign.

He took his LaLiga tally to 18 goals against Leganes and Carvajal hailed him as Madrid's player of the season.

"I think he's having a fantastic season," he said.

"I congratulate him because he has practically scored goals all season and I think that if you have to value someone more positively, he has been the best of the team this year."

Zinedine Zidane does not believe that Karim Benzema has been affected by rumours that Real Madrid are looking to replace him for next season.

Benzema scored his fifth goal in four LaLiga fixtures - and 18th in total - on Monday, though it was only enough to secure a 1-1 draw away at Leganes.

The Frenchman has now netted Madrid's last five goals, yet media reports have suggested the club could bring in another striker in the next transfer window.

Zidane, however, insisted that he is thrilled with his compatriot's performances this term.

"He is playing a very good season, especially in terms of goals. In the end, he is a fantastic player and this year he has changed, which means more goals," he told a news conference.

"He's used to that, to the rumours that players are coming, but for him it does not change anything. He showed his personality and that's it, he's doing well for the team, he's doing a lot of goals. I'm happy."

However, one player who may well be heading for the Madrid exit door is Gareth Bale, who came on as a substitute with nine minutes remaining and left the field sharply at full-time, though Zidane defended the Welshman.

"You can ask every day and I'm going to answer you every day. He's an important player in the squad, I do not know how many matches he's played since I came in," Zidane said.

"He played three games out of four, I think. Today I wanted to make a change and that's it.

"In the end it's like Lucas [Vazquez], playing 10-15 minutes is complicated for them, but the changes are made to change the game and we did not."

Madrid sit in third place in the table, four points behind Atletico Madrid. They are next in action on Sunday when they face Athletic Bilbao.

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