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Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid's problems have been mental, not physical

28 January 2018

Manager Zinedine Zidane has come under increasing pressure, with his future now hanging in the balance ahead of a two-legged Champions League last 16 tie with Paris Saint-Germain in the coming weeks.

Real Madrid are again set to pursue Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea next summer and have touched based with his agent Jorge Mendes. The club chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi's has already publicly stated that it will be "impossible" for Real Madrid to sign him this summer.

Real remained in fourth place but closed to within two points of Valencia in third and have a game in hand.

Cristiano Ronaldo remains the biggest obstacle to the deal.

Ronaldo wants to quit Real after becoming frustrated at the Bernabeu and Castles says the door is open for him to return to Old Trafford.

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Real and Ronaldo will get the opportunity to offer a positive response to that setback on Saturday when they take in a crunch clash with Valencia. Both were well-taken penalties after clumsy challenges by Martin Montoya, but the relief was tangible for Los Blancos.

Ronaldo, who is contracted to Real until 2021, added that he meant to continue playing until he is 41.

After winning an impressive five trophies with Madrid this year and the Ballon d'Or title, Ronaldo should be enjoying life in the Spanish capital.

'I like living here. "I've lived in this city since 2009 and I love the weather and the people", Ronaldo told Dongqiudi (via Sky Sports).

"Our careers are nearly made in the same countries simultaneously, so I know him very, very well". Sunday it's Chelsea, then the Champions League after that. I feel good, I'm very satisfied with my career, but I'll keep working hard.

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"Madrid is on fire, the results are not good and it's a club where I worked (for) three years, I care about the club".

It has been something of a tricky start to the new season for Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid side, with the Spanish team now fourth in La Liga and 19 points behind leaders Barcelona.

But perhaps most importantly of all, the players are still behind their beleaguered coach - and the healing process has officially started.

Rodrigo had Valencia's first sight of the Real Madrid goal in the 10th minute, and the forward's powerful effort was not too far away from the target.

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Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid's problems have been mental, not physical