'It's a lie': Zidane denies telling players he will leave Real Madrid at end of season

Zidane was asked about his future following Sunday's 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao

Zinedine Zidane has rubbished reports that he told his Real Madrid players he will leave at the end of the season as a "lie".

Zidane was asked about his future following Sunday's 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, a result that keeps alive their slim title hopes as they trail city rivals Atletico by two points heading into La Liga's final weekend.

Onda Cero radio and football website Goal.com both reported on Sunday that the Frenchman told his players either before or after last week's match against Sevilla that he would vacate his position at the end of the campaign.

But Zidane, whose contract runs until the summer of 2022, said in Sunday's post-match press conference he had not spoken to his players on the matter.

"How am I going to tell my players that I am going now? It's a lie," he said.

"I focus on this season. There is a game left and we are going to give everything. I only care what happens in this finale. The rest, we will see at the end of the season."

Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, legendary Madrid and Spain striker Raul and Joachim Low, who will step down as Germany coach at the end of this summer's European Championship, have all been mentioned as possible successors.

Zidane hinted on Saturday he could leave, saying he believes "there comes a time when it's the moment to change".

"I don't leave because it's easy. It's not like I turn away and don't look back," Zidane said.

"No, there are moments when you have to be there and there are moments when that's it, it's finished, it's time to change. But for the good of everyone, not just for me."

A second-half goal from defender Nacho sealed victory at San Mames.

The result saw second-placed Real move onto 81 points, two behind city rivals Atletico Madrid, who beat Osasuna 2-1 on Sunday thanks to two dramatic late goals.

Updated: May 17, 2021 08:49 AM

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