Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has started to backtrack on his comments around the signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga after landing himself in hot water with club president Florentino Pérez.
Athletic Bilbao's impressive young goalkeeper is on the brink of moving to the Santiago Bernabéu - a transfer which is being driven by Pérez - and it appears to have upset Real Madrid's manager.
"As a coach, I don't need a goalkeeper at the moment. If that changes by June or if we sit down and talk about it, we may sign players in certain positions," Zidane said with rumours of Kepa's arrival continuing to make headlines, as quoted by Marca. "In two years, no player has arrived in that position and [in June] we can discuss it."
Kepa is such an awesome signing. Amongst all the turmoil of this season, the long term scope of this team is really promising. So many fantastic prospects in many different positions. Florentino seems committed and patient.— ian (@RamosALaPlaya_) January 5, 2018
It has since been rumoured that Zidane's reluctance could be personal, with a report from Sport suggesting that he doesn't want to see his son, Luca, fall down the pecking order in the Spanish capital. It is also suggested that the Frenchman's job could be on the line, with Pérez ready to sack his manager if they fail to progress in the Champions League.
However, the former Los Blancos midfielder is now claiming that his initial comments on a new goalkeeper were not meant to put pressure on the club's president, insisting that he just believes in Madrid's current crop of players.
"I'm annoyed by the comments that have been made about the club and myself in this situation," he told a press conference on Tuesday, Marca reports. "I'm never going to try to put any pressure on my president, who is the one who gave me this chance, or the club.
"Whoever says otherwise doesn't know me.
"I'm just another person here, there is nobody more important than Real Madrid," Zidane added ahead of Real Madrid's clash with CD Numancia in the Copa del Rey. "I don't like [those things] to be said because it isn't true.
"It's not true and all I can say is that while I'm here I'm going to work at 3,000 percent."