Real Madrid's Zidane plays down Aouar interest

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said Lyon's Houssem Aouar "could play for Real Madrid one day" but insisted he is not looking to add to his squad with two days left in the transfer window.

French newspaper L'Equipe claimed on Friday that Zidane had asked Madrid to sign Aouar and spoken personally to the 22-year-old midfielder about a move.

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"I don't know what information you have," Zidane said in a news conference on Saturday when asked about the reports. "I have no doubts he's a great player. Maybe one day he could play for Real Madrid. Today we have this squad, and my focus is on the players I have now. From [Oct. 5] I won't have to answer these questions."

ESPN reported this week that Arsenal remain in talks with Lyon for the France international after having an initial €35 million bid rejected.

Zidane has repeatedly said he's happy with the club's decision not to spend big on signings this summer. "We already have a lot of players. And you want to bring in more? Why?" the Madrid manager said earlier this week.

Zidane also said he is not concerned that Eden Hazard will be dogged by injuries in the same way that Gareth Bale was in his spell with the club, after the Belgium international was ruled out for up to four weeks.

There are a number of parallels between Hazard and Bale, who also signed for Real for €100m and was haunted by injuries, including having ankle surgery in 2016.

"No, I'm not worried, I'm positive and I'm positive about Hazard, this is a muscle injury that came about from working very hard to try and get back," Zidane said. "The important thing is to now focus on getting him right again."

Hazard is not the only injury worry for Zidane, with both right-backs, Dani Carvajal and Alvaro Odriozola, picking up injuries in the last 24 hours. First-choice Carvajal damaged the ligament in his right knee and is expected to be out for two months, while the club announced on Saturday that replacement Odriozola has a calf muscle issue.

It comes after Madrid sold another right-back, the highly rated Achraf Hakimi, to Inter for €40m after a successful loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.

"They're things that can happen in a squad," Zidane said. "Right now we aren't happy about what happened to Carvajal and Odriozola, but these things happen, we'll have to play with other players. We can't look for excuses."

Zidane's alternatives at right-back include Nacho, who is more comfortable at centre-back, and winger Lucas Vazquez.

"I'm not worried," he added. "I don't like it, I'd prefer to have all my players, but they're things that can happen. We must be patient, it annoys me for the players who are injured, it's the worst moment for them, but we'll keep going and use all the players we have at our disposal."

Madrid play Levante in La Liga on Sunday having picked up seven points from their three games so far.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.