Zinedine Zidane insists he is not obliged to recall Gareth Bale to the Real Madrid team as soon as possible in order to convince him to stay at the club.

The Wales star's future has again come into doubt after he travelled to London this week reportedly to meet with his agent, Jonathan Barnett.

Speaking after the 5-0 win over Leganes on Wednesday, Zidane stressed he still has a good working relationship with Bale, who has not played for Madrid since October 5 after suffering a knock on international duty.

Zidane says the forward is now back training with the Madrid squad but does not agree he must rush Bale back into action in order to show the player that he has a future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"The subject is in the past. He is here and he's on the pitch, bit by bit, training," Zidane told reporters on Friday ahead of the LaLiga clash with Real Betis.

"We're with him in order for him to get back in the team. Nothing more.

"I don't have to do anything. I don't have to convince him about anything because he's here. He's training, he's still not available, but he's here at Real Madrid."

While Bale's future remains unclear, Madrid continue to be linked with a possible move for Paul Pogba, who was tipped to move to the Spanish capital in the previous transfer window.

With the France midfielder having stayed at United while Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro have all had injuries this season, Federico Valverde has taken his opportunity to impress at the heart of Zidane's side.

However, the Madrid boss does not consider Valverde to be a player in exactly the same mould as Pogba.

"I don't look at him like that. He's a very young player, who has a lot of future and present. He's doing well," Zidane said.

"I'm not surprised by him or anyone else, either. He's an important player in the squad. There are 25 first-team players and that's that."

The 5-0 win over Leganes was another match in which Eden Hazard was unable to add to his solitary Madrid goal since his move from Chelsea before the start of the season.

But Zidane has dismissed the notion that the Belgium star is "shy" when it comes to going for goal.

"I don't think he's shy," Zidane said. "He sees things many others don't see, so sometimes he tries the pass rather than the shot.

"Everyone wants to see Hazard scoring goals. He looks better every day."

Eden Hazard has confirmed he discussed Real Madrid with Thibaut Courtois and Florentino Perez before completing his "dream" transfer from Chelsea.

Belgium star Hazard brought months of speculation to an end when he swapped Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu in June.

The former Lille winger had hoped to make the move immediately after claiming the Silver Ball at the 2018 World Cup but the Blues blocked his exit, having already allowed goalkeeper Courtois to leave for Los Blancos.

Hazard spent a further 12 months in London and used the time to confirm the club's interest and the mood of his future team-mates.

"My dream was always to play for Real Madrid, the greatest team in the world, and so far I'm happy," Hazard told Real Madrid TV.

"Courtois always told me that this was the best club.

"I'd already made my mind up after the World Cup and I said to myself 'I have to join Real Madrid now'. That wasn't possible and I spent another year at Chelsea and that made my departure easier. The club understood it and allowed me to leave.

"I spoke to Florentino and he told me that he was waiting for me in Madrid.

"I also spoke to [Luka] Modric and got the impression that they all wanted to see me at Real Madrid and it finally happened."

Hazard, like many of his team-mates, has not enjoyed an easy start to the new season, with a glaring miss in the narrow Champions League win over Galatasaray indicative of his struggles.

But as Zinedine Zidane's men strive for form, the 28-year-old continues to have high hopes for success in Europe.

"As I said on my first day, for me, the Champions League is important," he said.

"In London, I only once reached the semi-finals. Chelsea had won their only Champions League trophy the year before I joined.

"They've won it a lot of times here in previous years and it's difficult to win it every season because there are many teams involved, but I've come here to win it because it's important for everyone and that goes for me too."

Zinedine Zidane insisted Eden Hazard's form is nothing to be concerned about after the Belgian put in a disappointing performance in Real Madrid's 1-0 Champions League defeat of Galatasaray.

Hazard's adaptation to life at Madrid has not been as smooth as the two parties would have hoped following his blockbuster move from Premier League side Chelsea in pre-season.

While fitness issues have certainly had an impact, Hazard's performances have left a lot to be desired and he has managed just the solitary goal in seven appearances across all competitions.

He should have scored at least once against Galatasaray in Istanbul on Tuesday and was guilty of a particularly bad miss in the second half, hitting the crossbar with the goal at his mercy after skipping past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Hazard did at least get an assist, albeit fortuitously as his pass was seemingly meant for Karim Benzema rather than goal-scorer Toni Kroos, though head coach Zidane still had to answer questions on the winger.

"It doesn't worry me," Zidane said. "He's better and he's going to improve more.

"The important thing is that he continues to have chances, because he's going to put them in."

Another much-maligned Belgian at the club is goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but he produced one of his better performances in a Madrid shirt, making several vital saves and Zidane applauded him.

"He has clearly saved us in the first half," Zidane said of Courtois. "We are happy for him and for the whole team – he needed that kind of match as well. He allowed us to get all three points.

"There is always a lot of criticism when we lose and today we won, we played with personality and the players have deserved the victory."

The win leaves Madrid second in Group A, five points adrift of pacesetters Paris Saint-Germain, who have won all three matches.

Zinedine Zidane left Gareth Bale and Luka Modric out of his Real Madrid squad for their Champions League trip to Galatasaray after the pair suffered injuries while on international duty.

After scoring in Wales' 1-1 draw with Croatia in Cardiff, Bale left the field limping and was later reported to be suffering from cramp, while Modric had to be substituted having sustained bruising to his right quadriceps.

The pair are joined by out-of-favour striker Mariano Diaz and calf injury victim Lucas Vazquez in missing the trip to Istanbul for a game in which Madrid badly need a win to revive their hopes of qualifying from Group A.

Los Blancos lost their opening group game 3-0 at Paris Saint-Germain and were held to a 2-2 draw by Club Brugge at Santiago Bernabeu, leaving them bottom of the group.

Tuesday's game provides Zidane's men with a chance to bounce back from their 1-0 defeat to Mallorca in LaLiga on Saturday and the Madrid coach welcomes Toni Kroos, Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal back into his squad.

Eden Hazard will not be involved in Real Madrid's LaLiga game against Real Mallorca following the birth of his fourth child.

According to reports, Hazard's wife, Natacha, gave birth to a boy late on Friday.

The Belgium international was excluded from the 19-man travelling list released ahead of Madrid's flight out for Saturday's fixture.

Hazard's absence leaves Zinedine Zidane lacking two first-choice wingers, with Gareth Bale unavailable after limping through the final stages of Wales' 1-1 draw against Croatia last weekend.

Luka Modric suffered bruising to his right quadriceps in the same Euro 2020 qualifier and also misses the Mallorca match, as does Dani Carvajal.

Brahim Diaz and little-used striker Mariano Diaz will both hope to make their first appearances of the season.

Michy Batshuayi and Thomas Meunier scored as Belgium won 2-0 in Kazakhstan to continue their perfect record in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Belgium became the first team to qualify with a 9-0 defeat of San Marino this week while Kazakhstan's hopes of reaching the finals were ended by Cyprus.

Batshuayi put Roberto Martinez's men in front at Astana Arena on Sunday and Meunier doubled their lead from a superb Eden Hazard pass.

The victory made it eight wins from eight in Group I for Belgium.

Kazakhstan made a breezy start but fell behind to Batshuayi's goal in the 21st minute.

Dries Mertens poked the ball through to Dennis Praet on the right and the full debutant whipped in a low cross that an unmarked Batshuayi stole in at the back post to convert.

Belgium ensured victory with a second strike in the 53rd minute. Hazard's stunning ball over the Kazakhstan back line was placed perfectly into Meunier's path with the right-back driving a fine finish past Dmytro Nepogodov.

Batshuayi should have grabbed a second but could not stretch enough to turn in Mertens' left-wing cross.

Yan Vorogovskiy lashed a rare Kazakhstan opening over the crossbar and Thibaut Courtois saved a late Bauyrzhan Islamkhan free-kick to extend Belgium's run of clean sheets to seven qualifiers.


What does it mean? Belgium contenders for Euro 2020 crown

Belgium reached the semi-finals at last year's World Cup - knocking out Brazil but losing to eventual winners France - and as FIFA's top-ranked team they will be among the favourites at Euro 2020. Martinez has quality throughout his team, with a genuine global star in Hazard, although there is perhaps a lack of depth in some key areas.


Hazard spark lights up contest

With little at stake it was an understandably low-tempo affair, but Hazard provided a moment of magic from which the game will be remembered. The Real Madrid star has not had the easiest start to life at his new club, but showed his quality by setting up Meunier in wonderful fashion.


Mertens flatters to deceive again

Having been peripheral in the rout of San Marino last time out, Mertens was no more impressive against more resilient opposition. He had four shots, more than anyone on the pitch, but none of them were on target to test Nepogodov.


What's next?

Euro 2020's qualifying group stage ends next month. Belgium are away to Russia then at home to Cyprus. Kazakhstan, who could still finish third, end their campaign with a double-header on the road against San Marino and Scotland, the two teams below them in the group.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has dismissed concerns about Eden Hazard being overweight at Real Madrid.

A report in Sport in July claimed Hazard was seven kilograms too heavy when he joined up with the Madrid squad for pre-season duty.

The Belgium star has found it difficult to kick-start his career in LaLiga since joining from Chelsea in the transfer window, only scoring his first goal for the club in last weekend's 4-2 defeat of Granada.

Martinez, though, does not believe Hazard's physical condition is a particular concern given the talent he has.

"He is a really calm person, not someone who looks for individual glory," he told Deportes Cuatro."Whether he's carrying weight or not, Hazard can break past and unsettle defences and make a difference.

"His innate talent doesn't depend on whether his weight is this or that."

Martinez also spoke in defence of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The 27-year-old was taken off at half-time of the 2-2 Champions League draw with Club Brugge with what Madrid described as a stomach problem.

The club was forced to deny Courtois had become ill due to anxiety, having conceded twice to Brugge in the first half to compound a difficult run of form at club level.

Martinez says Courtois is still recovering from illness and insists he is the world's best in his position.

"It wasn't true that he had anxiety," Martinez said."He is still feeling the effects of a stomach bug and needs to regain a kilogram or two. That's what can happen with a stomach bug.

"He is a player who dreamed of playing for Real Madrid from a young age and he is ready to define an era there. I am convinced that he is the best goalkeeper in the world."

Eden Hazard was relieved to finally score his first Real Madrid goal in Saturday's 4-2 LaLiga win over Granada.

Hazard netted his first goal since arriving at Madrid for a reported €100million from Chelsea in June and also provided an assist as Zinedine Zidane's men pulled four points clear at the top.

The Belgium international was pleased to get on the scoresheet and the attacker hopes it is the first of many for the LaLiga giants.

"I am pleased with the win, when you play you want to score, but the crucial thing was getting the win. We are still top of the league, that was our aim," Hazard told Real Madrid TV.

"It's always difficult to get that first goal but once you get it, you have greater confidence to shoot and I hope to score lots of goals for this great club. It was important for me to score.

"It was a really hard-fought win because Granada played really well, they're a strong side and that's why they're second in LaLiga, but we gave our all throughout the 90 minutes and won the game.

"There's always room for improvement but that's three important points."

Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez also scored for Madrid, who were pegged back from 3-0 up to 3-2 before closing out their victory.

Madrid full-back Dani Carvajal said his side needed to close out matches better after the scare.

"We have to correct this way of closing out matches at home. If we continue like this and don't fix it then points will end up being dropped next time," he said, via Marca.

"It also happened against Levante and it has happened again. The feeling of winning 3-0 and then suffering isn't a sign of reliability.

"We have to be more convincing, but we go into the break as leaders and we know the path to follow."

Zinedine Zidane is hopeful Eden Hazard can build on his impressive display after the Belgium forward got off the mark with his first goal for Real Madrid in Saturday's 4-2 win against Granada. 

Hazard opened his account with an impressive lob late in the first half of the top-of-the-table clash at the Santiago Bernabeu, doubling Madrid's tally after Karim Benzema had given them the lead inside two minutes. 

He also teed up Luka Modric for the goal of the game just after the hour mark, but the home side let their opponents back into the contest when Darwin Machis converted from the spot after Alphonse Areola brought down Carlos Fernandez. 

Domingos Duarte set up a tense finale with his close-range finish 13 minutes from time, only for James Rodriguez to kill off the comeback to move Madrid four points clear at the top of LaLiga. 

It was the performance of Hazard that was most encouraging for Zidane, though, the ex-Chelsea man having failed to score or assist in his first five matches. 

"We need to see Eden like this, playing well and scoring goals," Zidane told reporters. "He wanted that, he was happy in the dressing room. We hope it's the first of many for him." 

Zidane's men rested on their laurels when boasting a commanding lead and were nearly made to pay in a similar performance to their 3-2 win against Levante last month. 

"We should not compare with the Levante game," Zidane said. 

"Granada are second in the table - if you let them back into the game… we had 10-15 difficult minutes. But even the second half we controlled the game. And we scored the fourth. 

"We are better than a month ago. Each player that comes in plays their part. But I want more, and we will play better. 

"We are perfectionists. But it is not easy, there are no easy games. You must always play from minute one to 90." 

Granada have been the surprise package in LaLiga so far and head coach Diego Martinez hailed the way his side fought back. 

"I'm proud of the second-half performance," he said. "We can't be happy if we don't pick up any points, but this game will help us grow as a team. Lifting ourselves up after being 3-0 down, showing pride and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, our mistakes were punished." 

Eden Hazard has finally arrived at Real Madrid. The reported €100million signing opened his goalscoring account and got an assist on Saturday, helping unconvincing Los Blancos see off Granada 4-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Having played five matches before the visit of Diego Martinez's men and with only a yellow card to show for his efforts, pundits had been quick to point out the Belgium international's stuttering form.

There is no doubt Hazard's hamstring injury in August played a significant role in disrupting his start to life in Madrid, preventing him from playing the first few weeks of the season.

Yet, for all the understanding from some, Hazard had become a key conversation topic around the club, with questions dominating Zidane's news conferences.

To Zidane's credit, he had been quick to back Hazard – perhaps learning from his treatment of Gareth Bale – and even suggested there were parallels to his own start at the Bernabeu.

"I know [Hazard] is going to succeed here," Zidane said before Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"The same thing happened to me, this is why I'm very calm, I knew things would work out for me in time and it's the same with Hazard."

While Zidane is probably bending the truth with respect to his own start, having scored three times by the end of September in his first season at the club, it was a comment made to buy Hazard a little extra time – after all, Madrid's fans are infamous for their lack of patience.

Having again been underwhelming against Brugge, making just one key pass, Hazard still initially appeared rusty in the visit of Granada – allowing a defender the chance to get a foot in and tackle him when well placed to cut a ball back into the danger zone.

But in the 42nd minute a low cross almost found Bale, who wanted a penalty for an apparent foul by Carlos Neva, suggesting the Belgian was settling into the contest.

And his next involvement in stoppage time saw Hazard make the sort of impact he did so regularly with Chelsea, racing on to a throughball and nonchalantly lobbing Rui Silva to make it 2-0, adding to Karim Benzema's opener.

The relief on his face was soon replaced by unbridled joy – Sergio Ramos' reaction seeming to say, "About time!".

He followed that up in the second half with an assist, going on a mazy run on the left flank, before cutting back inside and teeing up Luka Modric, having drawn several defenders in.

Modric subsequently unleashed a ferocious strike into the top-left corner from 30 yards, taking full advantage of the space made for him.

No one will attempt to claim Hazard is back to his best on the back of this match – after all, he was generally quiet in the first half and he only got an assist because of Modric's excellence.

But after a sequence of below-par performances in which he offered precious little, Hazard has at least shown hints of his brilliance in a Madrid shirt for the first time.

And given Madrid's rather fragile mentality – as evidenced by the performances against Brugge, Levante, Real Valladolid and now Granada, who fought back from three goals down before James Rodriguez struck late on – Zidane needs Hazard in full stride as soon as possible.

Eden Hazard scored and assisted his first goals for Real Madrid as the LaLiga leaders held on to beat stubborn second-placed opponents Granada 4-2 to extend their lead at the summit. 

The Belgium international lifted the ball over Rui Silva to get off the mark in his sixth match for the club, doubling the hosts' tally after Karim Benzema's early opener in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Substitute Luka Modric added another from range for Madrid but surprise package Granada pulled one back from the spot after Alphonse Areola gave away a penalty, then Domingos Duarte set up a tense finale with his close-range finish. 

But Zinedine Zidane's men saw out their first win in three matches, James Rodriguez striking in added time, to move four points clear of Granada and city rivals Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand to play. 

Eden Hazard scored his first goal for Real Madrid in Saturday's LaLiga encounter against Granada.

The Belgium international had produced a string of largely indifferent displays since returning from a hamstring injury sustained shortly after joining Madrid from Chelsea in a reported €100million (£88.5m) deal in June.

But after failing to score or assist in his first five matches for the club, Hazard found the back of the net in the top-of-the-table showdown with Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Granada were unable to clear under pressure and Federico Valverde poked the ball through for Hazard, who kept his cool and lifted the ball over the head of goalkeeper Rui Silva.

Hazard's goal arrived in added time at the end of the first half, putting Madrid 2-0 up after Karim Benzema's early opener.

Real Madrid must treat Thibaut Courtois differently to get the best out of him, according to Belgium goalkeeper coach Erwin Lemmens.

Courtois was substituted at half-time in Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw against Club Brugge, with Madrid 2-0 down at the time.

The 27-year-old was arguably at fault for Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis' ninth-minute opener and was again beaten by the Brugge striker later in the half.

Courtois' early withdrawal was put down to illness by boss Zinedine Zidane, but Lemmens has accused Madrid of failing to get the most out of a player that previously impressed for Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.

Comparing his compatriot's woes at the Santiago Bernabeu to David de Gea's slump in form with Manchester United, Lemmens told Radio MARCA: "They have to treat him differently.

"He's a special boy and it's unusual that he's always at the highest level with Belgium, but there he suffers with De Gea syndrome.

"If the Bernabeu whistles then you have to look at the team as a whole.

"He's a great goalkeeper and he'll try to make Real Madrid happy again."

Courtois' Belgium international team-mate Eden Hazard has also made a slow start to life at Madrid following a big-money switch from Chelsea.

Hazard has yet to score or assist in five outings for his new club, but Lemmens has urged Madrid supporters to remain patient.

"Hazard needs time," he said. "But Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world and it's normal for them to want players to play well as soon as they arrive."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is unconcerned by Eden Hazard's stuttering start at the Santiago Bernabeu, insisting he went through similar after joining from Juventus in 2001.

Madrid set a new world record when spending an estimated €77.5million on Zidane, continuing president Florentino Perez's Galacticos era, as the club looked to routinely sign global superstars.

Zidane went on to become a club icon as he helped Madrid to Champions League success in his first season, though he feels he struggled to get up to speed during his early days, similarly during his spell at Juventus.

Hazard joined Madrid for an initial €100m during pre-season, only for a thigh injury suffered in August to prevent him from making his first start until the 3-0 Champions League defeat by Paris Saint-Germain .

He similarly failed to provide much inspiration against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in his two matches since, although Zidane has no doubt the former Chelsea star will find his best again soon.

"I'm not going to give him some advice on how to play," Zidane told a news conference ahead of facing Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"He knows we want more from him and we know the player he is, we have to be calm. I'm not worried at all, I know he will succeed here. We have to be calm with the players who have just arrived.

"The same thing happened to me, yes, but that's why I'm very calm. I knew it would work with time.

"It was worse when I arrived in Italy because it took me three months [to settle] there.

"The same with Hazard, I know he is going to succeed here and he is going to get settled. It has nothing to do with his physical condition. I would like [immediate improvement] for the team and for him, but we're calm."

It was also suggested to Zidane that he might rest captain Sergio Ramos given how much he has played this season, but the 33-year-old appears set to feature on Tuesday.

"No, he can play another one," Zidane said. "It's not that we don't have a replacement, but he's our captain and I don't see him out [of the team].

"It's true that he sometimes needs some rest, but not now."

Ramos missed the defeat to PSG after he completed a two-match suspension for deliberately collecting a booking during the first leg of last season's quarter-final against Ajax.

Real Madrid star Eden Hazard accepts he still has to prove he can be considered a so-called galactico after a slow start to life in LaLiga.

Hazard joined Madrid in pre-season in a deal that could reportedly cost up to €140million but a thigh injury suffered last month has proven an early disruption.

Coach Zinedine Zidane stressed the need to be patient with Hazard as they were desperate to avoid aggravating the injury before handing him a first against Paris Saint-Germain on September 18.

But the Belgium international mustered just a single off-target shot and one key pass as Madrid were swept aside with ease at the Parc des Princes, PSG winning 3-0.

He was similarly unspectacular in the subsequent games against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid – either side of being an unused substitute for the win over Osasuna - and Hazard recognises he is yet to earn the right to be regarded as a galactico.

"I am not yet a galactic, I have to be the one to prove that I can be out on the pitch," he told reporters ahead of the Champions League clash with Club Brugge on Tuesday.

"We all know the history of the number seven jersey in this club and I have to be the one to prove that I can be the best in the world.

"I want to enjoy myself on the pitch, give the maximum, not only in games but also in training. I don't doubt myself, I don't doubt my coach. It's all a matter of trust.

"I'm confident and sure everything will work out fine.

"The criticism doesn't affect me. I haven't noticed much. I know when I work to the fullest, everyone expects me to score three goals in each match.

"I think I can do better, I am also critical of myself, but working every day. Maybe I have a little delay because of the injury, but I am 100 percent.

"I now have to demonstrate my level and improve so the fans are proud of me."

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