Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has told Cristiano Ronaldo he is “at the club where he should be”.
Reports in the Spanish media claim the Portugal star is involved in a pay dispute with club president Florentino Perez.
The five-time Ballon D’Or winner has endured a frustrating season, with Real languishing 19 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona.
And speculation is mounting that Ronaldo could be prepared to end his trophy-laden nine-year spell at the Bernabeu.
However, Zidane told a press conference ahead of Real’s Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg against Leganes: “I can’t imagine Real Madrid without a Cristiano.
“We know people what are saying, but what Cristiano has to do is think about playing, like he always does.
“I just want to talk about his performance and what he can bring to the team on the field. Cristiano is at his club, where he should be.
“The club, the fans… everyone loves him.
“The footballing side is what interests me the most. People are talking about this at a difficult time for the team, but we still believe that things are going to change.”
Zidane should be boosted by the return of Karim Benzema against Leganes.
The striker has yet to figure in 2018 due to a leg injury but he is back in training.
“I’m not going to say how we’re going to play,” added Zidane.
“I have everyone available, as always. All the players are important and (on Thursday) you’ll see how we approach it.
“I believe in everyone until the end. There is talk that it’s not like last year, that there are players who play less.
“The players are here and everyone is important and that’s how it’ll be until the end”.