Bale and Hazard? All the good players can play together, says Zidane

by Dom Farrell

Zinedine Zidane pondered the prospect of Eden Hazard at Real Madrid as he confirmed the Spanish giants intend to strengthen their attack during the close season.

The usual excitement of the final weeks of the campaign is nowhere to be seen at the Santiago Bernabeu this time around, with a fitful season set to peter out to a third-place LaLiga finish as Los Blancos’ reign as European champions comes to an end.

Zidane is back at the helm and seemingly ready to lead an ambitious rebuild after the lack of a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo took a heavy toll upon the brief reigns of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.

Gareth Bale’s days with Madrid are reportedly numbered but Zidane again refused to be drawn on the Wales forward future as Karim Benzema’s hamstring injury presented him with a probable opportunity to impress at Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

“Bale is happy, he has had minutes with me,” he said. “In the end we will see what happens, but I am not to say what Gareth should do.

“He is a player in our squad and will play between now and end of season.”

Chelsea star Hazard has been extensively linked to Madrid, with the assumption he would replace Bale in one of the wide attacking positions.

Asked whether Bale and Hazard could operate together, Zidane recalled an experience from his own decorated playing career when he and Youri Djorkaeff were the creative inspirations behind France’s 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 triumphs.

“All the good players can play together,” he said. “People before said I could not play with Djorkaeff. Do you remember? What craziness.”

Zidane added: “I know clearly what I want to do. The players, the profiles, what I want to do for next year.

“We are working on it. But we still have four games left. Then we will see. The idea is to have more strength in attack next year.”