Vinicius dismisses PSG links: I want to stay at Madrid

By Sports Desk February 06, 2020

Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior dismissed speculation over a move to Paris Saint-Germain, insisting he wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Vinicius was linked with PSG in January – the Ligue 1 champions' sporting director Leonardo a reported admirer of his fellow Brazilian.

However, Vinicius has no plans to leave LaLiga giants Madrid, where the 19-year-old arrived in 2018.

Speaking after Thursday's shock 4-3 Copa del Rey quarter-final loss to Real Sociedad, Vinicius told reporters: "There's no choice, I want to stay at Madrid."

Trailing Sociedad 1-0 at half-time, Madrid found themselves 3-0 down before the hour-mark in the Spanish capital.

Marcelo reduced the deficit in the 59th minute but Mikel Merino restored Sociedad's three-goal advantage 10 minutes later.

Late goals from Rodrygo Goes and Nacho gave Madrid some hope, however, it was not enough for the LaLiga leaders at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I would like to ask to the fans to keep this way up, we are going to fight until the end of the season in order to win La Liga and Champions League too," Vinicius said.

Vinicius added: "We were not in good shape, and Sociedad plays football really well, they're well-placed in LaLiga. It was a difficult match. The only Copa one played at home, and we lost.

"It is hard to lose at home. We were unbeaten at home and we got beaten on the single match we can't afford to lose. But on the other hand, we keep fighting until the end, fighting to keep in good shape looking forward the end of this season."

Zinedine Zidane's Madrid – three points clear of Barcelona atop LaLiga, travel to Osasuna on Sunday.

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    Zinedine Zidane is in "good spirits" after testing positive for COVID-19 as Real Madrid get ready to take on Deportivo Alaves without their head coach.

    The Spanish club confirmed on Friday that Zidane is isolating after contracting coronavirus, meaning he will not be present for Saturday's LaLiga fixture.

    Having already lost to Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana, Los Blancos suffered a humiliating defeat to third-tier club Alcoyano to exit the Copa del Rey in midweek.

    With their title defence also stuttering, the pressure has increased on Zidane, whose absence this weekend means assistant coach David Bettoni will be in charge.

    "I spoke to him this morning, he's feeling fine," Bettoni told the media ahead of a trip to an Alaves side that won 2-1 in Madrid last season.

    "He's in good spirits. He won't be with us in person but we know he'll be supporting us. The important thing is that everyone knows he'll be there in spirit.

    "We're just finalising how we're going to do things."

    Zidane insisted he remained calm about his own future in the aftermath of the defeat to Alcoyano, having seen a strong Madrid side let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 after extra time.

    Bettoni insists the squad remain united with the focus now shifting back to LaLiga, where they quickly need to make up ground on leaders Atletico Madrid.

    "At Real Madrid, every defeat brings criticism, but we have enough experience to know we've got a chance against Alaves to show everyone we're a unit," he said.

    "We're all together in this and we're going to do all we can to take the three points. We work hard every day towards just that and we have another chance to show it."

    Sergio Ramos did not feature in the cup tie on Wednesday and will once again be absent this weekend, while fellow defender Dani Carvajal is not yet ready to make a return.

    "With Sergio Ramos, he is in his recovery process and he won't be with us tomorrow," Bettoni confirmed.

    "Dani Carvajal trained a little with us, but he won't be with us either and will be able to train normally from Monday."

    Madrid have lost just one of their previous 15 away games in LaLiga but have found goals hard to come by this season, managing 30 in 18 games. That is their second-worst tally at this stage in the past 14 campaigns.

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    Ings is reportedly a top target for Spurs with his contract due to expire in 18 months and the England international seeking Champions League football.

    Mourinho was adamant he would not directly respond to questions about Ings given he is employed by another club.

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    "Let's go bit by bit," Mourinho said.

    "[We have] two strikers, we are not a team that needs a third striker because the third striker is Sonny [Son Heung-min]. 

    "Of course we have the best [Harry Kane] and we are happy with Carlos.

    "Carlos is not our player, he is a Benfica player, but he is a player we are helping to develop and he is helping the team so we are happy with the situation.

    "Ings of course I refuse totally to say any word about him because he is a Southampton player and I respect that."

    Mourinho was also asked about reports linking Gedson Fernandes with Torino, having previously said the player's 18-month loan with the club could end early.

    Fernandes is, like Vinicius, on loan from Benfica, but the midfielder has not started a single Premier League game in a year at the club.

    "We don’t speak with other clubs," Mourinho said of the Torino reports.

    "We speak with Benfica. Since the moment where we felt that we were not giving to Gedson the possibilities of playing many matches, we felt that we didn't have the right to keep him. 

    "If he stays, great. Every time he plays he does always well. But we never felt the right to keep a player that is not our player and is not playing. 

    "Benfica knows we are open to cooperate with a friendly club like they are. If there is any other club involved, that I cannot confirm."

    Spurs are away to Championship side Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup fourth round on Monday.

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