Zinedine Zidane plays down Raheem Sterling rumors

    Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has hailed Raheem Sterling’s qualities but refused to confirm interest in the highly-rated Manchester City forward

    The news regarding City’s two-year suspension from European football emerged last Friday, with rumors linking the 25-year-old with a summer switch the Santiago Bernabeu following up instantly.

    Sterling has been mentioned as potential summer reinforcement for Zinedine Zidane’s side on multiple occasions in the past, and the player himself has recently fueled such speculations.

    “Real Madrid are a fantastic club. When you see the white shirt you know exactly what the club stands for, it’s massive,” the former Liverpool man said last week.

    “No one knows what the future will hold. I am a player, and I am always open to challenges, but right now my challenge is at Manchester City.”

    However, Zidane has refused to back up Sterling’s statement, insisting instead that he is only willing to discuss the players he currently has at his disposal.

    “I can’t talk about a player who isn’t mine. He’s a very good player, no doubt about that,” the Frenchman said, as reported by the Daily Mirror.

    Sterling has become one of City’s standout performers during Pep Guardiola’s tenure, establishing himself as one of the most lethal wingers in Europe.

    The England international has already secured 20 goals and six assists to his name this season, with five of those goals coming in the UEFA Champions League.

    Indeed, he is one of the players expected to spearhead Guardiola’s attack against Real in their last-16 tie, as the reigning Premier League champions hope to reach the competition’s quarter-finals for the third season in a row.

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