Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane praises ‘very good’ Kylian Mbappe and insists Cristiano Ronaldo will stay

Zinedine Zidane has insisted Cristiano Ronaldo will remain at Real Madrid beyond the summer transfer window despite last month’s reports that he was looking to leave.

The 32-year-old was said to have demanded an exit from the Bernabeu following accusations from the Spanish tax authority that he illegally avoided paying £12.9million from image rights earnings.

Spanish reports described Ronaldo’s decision to quit as ‘irreversible’ but, according to Zidane, it was exactly that as he insists his star player will still be wearing the famous white shirt at the start of the new season.

While it has since been reported that he has agreed to pay the fine, there has still been no word on his future from the player himself. Zidane explained the silence by saying the Portuguese was simply enjoying his holiday.

‘He’s on vacation, he deserves it, we’ll wait for him,’ Zidane told ESPN FC. ‘He’s going to stay with us and that’s it.’

One player seen as a potential replacement should Ronaldo leave is Monaco star Kylian Mbappe, who has been linked with a world-record £100m move to the Bernabeu.

Zidane’s relationship with the French striker gives Real Madrid a distinct advantage in the race but the manager was in no mood to add fuel to the fire.

Asked if he maintained an interest in Mbappe, Zidane said: ‘He’s a very good player, he’s shown that all year, but he’s not my player, I cannot tell you any more.’

With Alvaro Morata set to join Chelsea, there is a potential space in the Real Madrid squad for Mbappe and Zidane took the chance to bid the Spain international a fond farewell.

‘We wish him all the luck in the world – except against Madrid,’ said the coach. ‘In the end, we know that this is his home, he has been here all his whole life. He has to make decisions and so he has decided to go to another club.’