With the rumour mill in full swing after a poor season, the Blancos boss has asserted that he is no puppet for the club’s hierarchy.
Zinedine Zidane has endeavoured to assure fans that he will have the last call on who starts for Real Madrid, responding to reports that Keylor Navas will look for a new club in the summer after being told he will play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois next season.
Originally reported by La Sexta and confirmed by Goal, the Spanish capital club’s hierarchy is keen to install Courtois as their undisputed No.1, having picked up the Belgian shot-stopper at a reduced price as he entered the final year of his contract at Chelsea.
Navas is no stranger to fighting for a starting spot at the Santiago Bernabeu, consistently having had to train hard to prove his worth during five successful years in Madrid. With Courtois five years his junior, however, Real are eager to stick to their plans for the future.
On Saturday, Zidane did confirm that he has spoken to 32-year-old Navas but refused to shed any light on what was discussed.
“Could it be Keylor’s last game? I don’t think so, nor do I want to think about next season either,” the French boss said. “There are many rumours about what’s going to happen but I’m not going to say anything. Nobody knows what I said to Keylor except him and me.
“I will be clear about who will play when the next season starts. It’s my decision. Who do you think is in charge of this team? It’s clear as water: I’m the coach, I will always do what I want and if I can’t then I’ll quit. That’s clear.
“With the transfer issues, there are people here at the club and we all work together. But the team, choosing the line-up, the bench, the squad… that’s me and my staff.
“[Antoine] Griezmann to Real Madrid? I’m not going to talk about that. [Luka] Jovic to Real? I’m not going to talk about that either. Isco’s future? I’m not going to say anything.
“Are there no questions about the game tomorrow?”
Real Madrid take in their final match of the Liga season on Sunday, hosting Real Betis while marooned in third place with nothing to play for after a dismal season by their own high standards.