1. Zinedine Zidane content with Real Madrid squad after FIFA ban

Zinedine Zidane content with Real Madrid squad after FIFA ban

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid's new coach, is happy with his squad and the club has not discussed possible reinforcements despite FIFA's decision to ban them from the next two transfer windows, he said Saturday.

By: | Published: January 16, 2016 10:37 PM

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid’s new coach, is happy with his squad and the club has not discussed possible reinforcements despite FIFA’s decision to ban them from the next two transfer windows, he said Saturday.

FIFA announced on Thursday it had banned Real and neighbours Atletico Madrid from registering players for the next two windows for breaching rules on signing non-Spanish Under-18 players. Both clubs denied wrongdoing and said they would appeal.

The list of players included at least one of Zidane’s four sons, who play for various Real youth teams, although the club have not confirmed which of them were singled out by FIFA.

The sanction means the clubs will not be able to register new signings until July 2017 once the present transfer window closes at the end of the month.

They may be able to get the ban suspended pending the outcome of their appeal as Barcelona did when they were handed a similar punishment in 2014.

“For the time being we have not spoken to the club about reinforcements,” Zidane told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s La Liga game at home to Sporting Gijon.

“I am happy with the squad I have,” added the former Real and France great, who took over this month after Rafa Benitez was sacked.

Zidane said it was “absurd” that any of his sons had been singled out in the FIFA investigation and he was confident the situation would be resolved in Real’s favour soon.

“It annoys me a bit that my sons are being talked about because it’s a bit absurd,” he told reporters. “It makes no sense and I can’t say any more than that.”

Real are third in La Liga at the halfway point of the campaign, two points behind second-placed champions Barca, who have played one match fewer, and four adrift of leaders Atletico.

Zidane said Real’s Spain centre back Sergio Ramos would miss the Gijon game due to injury but predicted he would be back in action in around a week.

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