Zidane backs James for Madrid stay


Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has attempted to put a stop to the transfer speculation surrounding James Rodriguez, claiming he wants the Colombia captain to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

James has been constantly linked with a move away from the Spanish capital as he seemed to have fallen out of favour under Zidane, having previously played larger roles under former coaches Carlo Ancelotti and Rafael Benitez.

But Zidane has denied that he wants to force James out of the club, insisting there is a place for him in his squad.

"I do not want him to leave, he is a Madrid player, he just wants to play more, but you have to do what he is doing and work," Zidane said.

"I hope to play him more this year but I want everyone to give the maximum, and then I decide every game.

"And I have 25 players, so I do not have anything against James, people always ask me the same. James is well in Madrid."

One player set to leave Madrid is Jese Rodriguez, who is expected to sign for Paris Saint-Germain as they look to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zidane has backed the 23-year-old to score plenty in Paris.

"[The deal is] not closed, but is on the way. Is PSG is an ideal place for him? I think yes, he is going to score many goals," he said.

"I hope he does well, but Madrid is home."