Former Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado insisted Luka Jovic is a "great striker," who needs time to settle in at the La Liga giant.

Jovic is still searching for his first goal for Madrid since arriving from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in a reported €60million deal.

The 21-year-old Serbia international arrived in the offseason after scored 27 goals in 2018-19. However, he is yet to open his Madrid account and has not found the back of the net since a Euro 2020 qualifier in June.

Salgado, who won four LaLiga titles and two Champions League trophies during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, was asked about Jovic and he told Omnisport: "He's a young player. If Real Madrid signed him, is due to something. He has been a great player Eintracht Frankfurt, lot of goals, great attacking quality.

"It is known that Real Madrid needed a 'nine', a striker. Benzema is a different 'nine', a player that collects, combines over finishing. Jovic must still learn, it's a young player and Real Madrid it's a team with a lot of pressure. He needs time. He has that time, we know he's a great striker, you guys know that here in Germany."

Salgado also urged to "give him some space" and then "little by little" Jovic would become a Real Madrid player.

Jovic, who was not called up by Serbia during the international break, and La Liga leaders Madrid are back in action away to Mallorca on Saturday.

While Madrid top the table by two points, it has not been a straightforward start to the season for Zinedine Zidane's men.

Zidane, in his second spell at the helm, has been criticised, especially after the club's 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

"There's always critics at Real Madrid. A club that depends on victories, a gigantic club," Salgado said. "With a lot of pressure. But I think the last two scores had calm the team.

"Zidane deserves all our respect, he won three Champions Leagues in a row. Something that no one has achieve in history, now arriving into Madrid in a difficult position from last year. The season just started, and they climb into the first positions. We've got to let them work. I know Real Madrid, I been there almost 11 years. I know how it works and it's important that the manager and the players are calm in a moment like these.

"As I said, being leaders brought clam to the team and the team will grow a lot from now on. Zidane deserves the confidence from us, supporters. I think he's doing a great job."

Sergio Reguilon insists he left Real Madrid "on good terms" despite others making the decision to loan him to Sevilla for the season.

Reguilon, 22, broke into Madrid's first-team squad last season, usurping Marcelo as first-choice left-back for a period in the second half of the season under Santiago Solari, his former Castilla coach.

The left-back soon found himself playing back-up again once Zinedine Zidane returned and restored Marcelo to the starting XI in March, while the pre-season signing of Ferland Mendy from Lyon saw Reguilon's hopes of first-team football diminish even further.

Sevilla are coached by Julen Lopetegui, who initially promoted Reguilon to Madrid's first team during a short-lived spell for the coach at the Santiago Bernabeu last year, and the Andalusian club secured the full-back's arrival on a season-long loan in July.

Reguilon has been a revelation for Sevilla, starting seven of their eight LaLiga matches.

His impressive performances resulted in a first call-up to Spain's senior squad for October's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Norway and Sweden, suggesting Reguilon could have been an asset to Madrid this term, though he feels entirely at ease with his parent club.

"I have a very clear conscience because I left everything out there [on the pitch] for Real Madrid," Reguilon told AS.

"Others made that decision [to loan Reguilon] and I can't do anything but do my job to the very best. It's what I did in Madrid and I try to do it now at Sevilla.

"I left Madrid on good terms, I wasn't mad at anyone. Everything was a mutual agreement. I am an academy player and I owe everything to Madrid. It's impossible for me to leave in a bad way.

"I want to do my best at Sevilla and that's my only concern. The best way to make it difficult for Zidane is to play well for Sevilla.

"My plan is to run, perform and give everything in every game and next year, whatever happens will happen."

Reguilon is expected to return to Madrid at the end of the season as Sevilla do not have a purchase option.

Zinedine Zidane hailed Federico Valverde's form for Real Madrid after a 4-2 win over Granada on Saturday.

Valverde, 21, made his third straight LaLiga start for Madrid, setting up a goal for Eden Hazard as Zidane's men moved four points clear at the top.

The Uruguay international's display was lauded by Zidane, who praised the midfielder's energy.

"I'm happy for him. He deserves it, he's a player that'll always prove just how good he is," the Madrid coach told a news conference.

"He's improving, he's doing exceptionally well and he's always moving forward, he wants to get on the ball and he had a hand in the goals.

"This is a team game and that first-half performance was brilliant in every sense. We did really well in terms of getting out of our half with the ball.

"That's the kind of player he [Valverde] is. He's a bit of a modern player, he's got a fantastic engine on him, it's not only in attack because he puts in just as much work in defence too and that's important in the modern game and he's doing well, just as many of them are.

"I'm delighted for Fede because he's getting game time and he deserves it."

Valverde gained possession a game-high nine times for Madrid against Granada, while he made three tackles and provided an assist.

Top of the table, Madrid's first game after the international break is a trip to Mallorca on October 19.

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.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas believes an early kick-off time for the Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid allows more people around the world to tune in.

The October 26 clash between the LaLiga rivals will take place at Camp Nou with a kick-off time of 13:00 CET (12:00 BST).

With both sides in Champions League action during the preceding week, Barca will have a day less recovery time than Madrid after returning from Slavia Prague.

Tebas indicated the decision to hold the Clasico early in the day was made with Asian television markets in mind.

"Now you put a Clasico at one o'clock and you can see it in more places across the world," he said on Friday.

"Our international work consists of that. If we don't put it at that time, in Asia they won't be able to watch it.

"It's Spanish football but it's no longer only for Spanish people. There are fans all over the world.

"In El Salvador they tell us that they will be sleeping on Saturday at one o'clock. We can't please everyone."

Tebas also responded to claims from the Spanish Football Federation that TV producers manipulated VAR images after Denis Cheryshev's goal was allowed to stand in Valencia's 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao.

"I found it outrageous. No one doubts the system or the arbitrators," he said.

"The assessment will be made at the end of the season. It has been seven days. We have to wait.

"It would be bold to say that the system worked better or worse than last season. It was exaggerated."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is facing a full-back shortage after the club confirmed that left-sided defender Marcelo has been sidelined by a hamstring strain.

The Brazil international played the second half of Madrid's 2-2 draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday, coming on as a substitute for Nacho.

After the game, Nacho was taken to hospital for tests on his left knee, which revealed ligament damage and he is expected to be ruled out until Christmas while he recovers.

Zidane is unable to call upon France international Ferland Mendy to provide cover at left-back for Madrid's clash with Granada on Saturday as he is in recovery from a thigh injury.

Los Blancos' boss was even asked in his pre-match news conference whether Gareth Bale could deputise given his experience of playing in deeper roles over the years.

"The truth is that I have not thought of that at all," said Zidane, before pointing to right-footed Brazilian defender Eder Militao as a possible solution to the problem.

"We have other possibilities before that. [Militao] may be an alternative. He is a defender, he has played in this position, it is a possibility."

Zidane faced questions about goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who was jeered by Madrid supporters before being replaced at half-time against Brugge by Alphonse Areola.

The club put out a statement to say that Courtois was ill during the match, to counter reports that he was replaced due to poor performance and anxiety.

Zidane offered words of support for Courtois, who kept three consecutive clean sheets prior to the Brugge game, but stopped short of confirming who would start in goal against Granada. 

"He was bad, yes," Zidane said of Courtois. "He was disturbed. It can happen, but a player can play in spite of that. But at the break, he was no longer able to play.

"Whistles, whether unfair or not, are like that. He is strong mentally. We know, internally, that the fault is collective in the first period against Brugge.

"I have 25 players, I count on each one of them. Thibaut Courtois is one of them. People can talk, have their opinion, about what happened on Tuesday. But the three games before, it was Courtois in goal and we did not concede any goals.

"No one is indisputable, neither Courtois nor anyone. [Areola] is a great keeper, like Thibaut. He is very good, and that's it. We have two good goalkeepers who play and that's it."

Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a medial collateral ligament injury.

Madrid confirmed the MCL injury following Tuesday's forgettable 2-2 Champions League draw at home to Club Brugge.

Nacho was replaced at half-time after the Spain international felt discomfort in his right knee at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"Following tests carried out on Nacho Fernández by the Sanitas Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with an injury to his medial collateral ligament in his right knee," a statement read. "His recovery will continue to be assessed."

Confirmation of Nacho's injury came after Zinedine Zidane's Madrid came from two goals down to salvage a draw against the Belgian visitors.

Madrid made unwanted history, conceding two or more goals in three successive home European games for the first time in their history after losses to Ajax (4-1) and CSKA Moscow (3-0) last season.

Captain Sergio Ramos and Casemiro came to Madrid's rescue in the second half and Zidane said: "The truth is that we produced a poor first-half display, we made a really bad start in the first five minutes and they made life difficult for us straightaway.

"We weren't in control of any aspect of the game and the second half was a different story and we changed the complexion of the game. What I take away with me is the reaction from the players because they're the ones who changed the game. That's what I take away with me, that and the point.

"The opposition can make life difficult for you. We knew all about the three quick players they had up top, but the problem is that when they score, that gives them a boost. It was the first time that they'd played here and they were charging around from corner to corner and up and down.

"In football you've got to be focused from the first whistle and we didn't get off to a good start. In the second half everything changed, we showed some heart, commitment and played in the opposition's half. I don't think that [Ruud] Vormer's dismissal changed things, I don't know how long they played with 10 men for, it was eight or 10 minutes, no more than that."

Zinedine Zidane described Club Brugge's opening goal as a "joke" as Real Madrid were made to pay for a terrible first-half display in their 2-2 draw.

Madrid were two goals down before half-time in Tuesday's Champions League group match at the Santiago Bernabeu through a double by Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis.

Dennis miscontrolled Percy Tau's cross but the ball still found its way past a wrong-footed Thibaut Courtois, with the ninth-minute goal allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR check for a possible offside infringement.

The 21-year-old striker doubled his tally 39 minutes in with a clipped finish over Courtois, who was replaced at half-time along with Nacho Fernandez.

Sergio Ramos pulled one back for Madrid 10 minutes into the second half and Casemiro equalised five minutes from time, but Zidane was left bemused by the nature of his side's first-half performance.

"It is a bad result but the reaction was good," he told Movistar. "We cannot be happy - the first goal was a joke. But I am sticking to the positives - the players changed the game with their attitude in the second half.

"In the end it is not that I am happy to add one point - there was room to add three - but I'm happy with the reaction.

"It is not that we started badly, but then we were not concentrating on where the opponent could harm us.

"In the end I want to focus on the last 45 minutes. We can't be happy but you always have to be thinking about the positive."

Courtois was among those targeted for jeers as Madrid's players made their way off the field at half-time.

However, Zidane tried to take some of the blame off Courtois' shoulders and confirmed the Belgian goalkeeper was replaced due to feeling ill.

"Courtois wasn't well and couldn't continue," Zidane said. "I'm not at all worried about Thibaut's form or anything else. The only thing I'm interested in is doing things well, like we did in the second half.

"We could blame Thibaut but we are all involved, me more than anyone."

The 2-2 draw with Brugge comes two weeks on from a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain in their Group E opener, making this Madrid's worst start to a Champions League campaign.

LaLiga leaders Madrid are bottom of their group and travel to Galatasaray for their next outing on October 22.

"The margin of error in the Champions League is minimal. We will see," Zidane said, when asked about his side's hopes of a top-two finish.

"We already have a league match on Saturday and we will see the next Champions League. We are in a slightly worse situation; the situation has not changed much but we will continue."

Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are not included in Real Madrid's squad for their Champions League clash with Club Brugge.

Madrid were thrashed 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain in their Group A opener, with Bale and James both starting at Parc des Princes.

Bale had a goal disallowed after Angel Di Maria had put PSG two up but was later taken off, while James was replaced by Luka Jovic.

But Madrid have now confirmed neither Bale nor James - who both featured against Atletico Madrid - have been included in Zinedine Zidane's squad for Brugge's trip to Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Rodrygo Goes also misses out.

Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema are selected, as is Vinicius Jr. They are joined by Marcelo, who was not available for the Madrid derby.

Sergio Ramos is set to make his Champions League return after missing the PSG defeat due to suspension, while Isco also returns from a hamstring injury which has kept him out since the end of August.

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."

Zinedine Zidane feels Real Madrid did enough to pick up victory against Atletico Madrid in Saturday's El Derbi stalemate.

Madrid created the best chance of the game at Wanda Metropolitano, with Jan Oblak producing a fine save to keep out Karim Benzema's header 15 minutes from time in the goalless draw.

The point was enough to take Zidane's men back above surprise package Granada into top spot in LaLiga, but the Frenchman wanted more from the match.

"We deserved much more, but what I have to do is congratulate the players since we have been supportive again and we kept a clean sheet," he said at his post-match news conference.

"It's not just intensity, but what's important is our strength. We saw a strong Madrid because we didn't concede a chance. We lacked in creativity but we're happy with what we did."

Eden Hazard had another quiet match, the Belgium international failing to register a single shot before being replaced by James Rodriguez in the 77th minute.

Zidane admits Hazard, who joined from Chelsea in June for a fee that could reach €168million, still has some way to go before reaching the levels he hit at his former club. 

"He lacks little things. We have to stick with him. He's done a good job, but we haven't had many chances," he added.

"We have to highlight everyone's work. We'd like him to score because it'll release him, but there are no problems, we're sure it'll come."

Zidane echoed the views of skipper Sergio Ramos, who had mixed feelings after keeping a third league clean sheet in a row.

"These games against Atletico are very physical," Ramos told Movistar at full-time.

"It's one of the most difficult stadiums we have to visit throughout the season and it's important to keep a clean sheet. 

"But in attack it's hard to create chances because they don't leave much space. This point doesn't mean a lot because we wanted three.

"The defensive side of the game is something we've been working on. Everything adds up and I think we're enjoying a good spell."

Madrid return to action on Tuesday with a home match against Club Brugge in the Champions League, before hosting Granada in LaLiga next Saturday.

Luka Modric has been included in Real Madrid's squad for the derby against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Croatia midfielder, who has been struggling with a muscular complaint, has not featured since the 2-2 draw with Villarreal on September 1.

Marcelo is not yet fit enough to take his place in the squad, however, meaning Nacho is likely to line up at left-back, while Isco is still out injured.

There is also no place in the squad for Rodrygo Goes, who scored on his senior debut in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Osasuna.

The 18-year-old will play for the club's Castilla side on Saturday against Rayo Majadahonda, rather than being involved with the first team at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Diego Simeone is certain Saturday's Derbi with Real Madrid is in the balance despite Atletico Madrid crushing their bitter rivals 7-3 in pre-season.

The teams met two months ago in New Jersey and Atletico inflicted a humiliating defeat on Zinedine Zidane's men.

Diego Costa scored four goals and Joao Felix caught the eye, with Atletico surging 6-0 up by the 51st minute.

Madrid then endured an initially indifferent start to the season, though three successive wins have elevated them to LaLiga's summit, with Atletico a point adrift.

Simeone was asked in Friday's pre-match news conference whether July's remarkable win combined with Atletico being at home made Los Colchoneros favourites, but the coach is wary of a Madrid side who have shown significant signs of improvement in recent weeks.

"In this type of game, things are usually tight," Simeone told reporters. "They are defined by small details, which balance the matches on one side or the other.

"In the last games they have improved against Sevilla and Osasuna, where they had many changes and continued with the level shown in Seville.

"They have a great squad, a great coach, and we want to take the game where it suits us best.

"They've really good players and they're very dangerous when given space. [Gareth] Bale is improving, [Karim] Benzema is in great form and [Eden] Hazard has incredible attributes.

"They've a strong spine as well. Very little has changed in the players who have been key for years and maintained their place in the team.

"That centre of Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Benzema, they're important players."

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