Zinedine Zidane has admitted his admiration for Eden Hazard as Real Madrid continue to be linked with the Chelsea forward.
Zidane’s side will host Eibar on Saturday but attention in the Spanish capital is already turning to the summer transfer window.
Madrid are expected to undertake a major rebuilding job after a disappointing season, with the European champions starting the weekend 13 points behind rivals Barcelona in LaLiga.
Asked if Madrid might seek to lure Hazard from west London, Zidane said: “I will not give my personal opinion about what may happen because the season has not ended, but I’ve always appreciated him.
“I’ve seen him a lot since I was playing in France. He’s fantastic.”
An overhaul of the squad will come with Zidane as yet unable to transform Madrid’s fortunes since his return as coach. They go into Saturday’s game on the back of a 2-1 loss away to Valencia on Wednesday night.
Madrid’s season is effectively over with nothing left to play for, but Zidane – who experienced a similar situation when Barca took the title by 12 points in 2006 – told his players they must play with pride to see out the campaign.
“I am not inside each player’s head,” he said when asked about motivation. “What I see in training is that they have the pride to finish the season well.
“Our defeat (to Valencia) says the opponent played well, but we did good things too.
“I’ve lived it as a player. It’s not easy. You have to accept it when things like this happen.
“The best way to get out of it is to work, to be happy when you win matches even if there’s nothing at stake.”