Zinedine Zidane will have smiled on Thursday when he heard the 50 000 fans inside the Bernabeu chant for the club to sign Kylian Mbappe. In the developing power struggle with club president Florentino Perez, the pressure being cranked up on the president can only be a good thing.
Zidane knows he will not get Mbappe but he has not given up on Paul Pogba and there is a sense that promises were made when he took over towards the end of last season.
It was not easy persuading Zidane to return. He had left the previous summer, upset with the club’s plans for the new season.
He knew Cristiano Ronaldo was about to be sold. He knew he might not be replaced with the club keen to push teenager Vinicius instead of making a huge signing.
He knew the biggest new signing the club would make would be Thibaut Courtois – someone to play in a position that he felt was already well covered by Keylor Navas and by his son Luca Zidane.
After delivering three straight European Cups he felt that he should be the man entrusted with building a new Madrid.
In order for him to take the job – for a second time – less than a year after walking away the club had to promise him just that: a team in his image, a team hand-picked by Zidane.
The club accepted at least trying to give him what he wanted but it was always clear there were key differences of opinion regarding key players.
Zidane rated Navas over Courtois. The club felt the opposite way. Zidane did not want Gareth Bale in the squad; the club, while disappointed with his performances last season and happy to take a big-money offer if one arrives, don’t see the need to send him packing at all costs.
Zidane wants Sergio Ramos looked after, even if that means a new contract. The club don’t see the sense in extending the 33-year-old’s deal. — dailyonline.