Kylian Mbappe: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane admits love for Paris Saint-Germain striker
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel: "Sometimes the players you love the most are the ones you cannot have"
By Calum Wilson
Last Updated: 27/11/19 7:26am
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has admitted being "in love" with Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe.
Zidane's side, who face PSG at the Bernabeu in the Champions League on Tuesday, have been frequently linked with a move for Mbappe.
In the summer, Mbappe admitted that he would be open to a "new project" and was considering his future at the Parc des Princes, before the Ligue 1 champions revealed in May that he would remain at the club for the 2019/20 campaign.
Madrid forward Eden Hazard has called on the 20-year-old to join him in Spain, claiming the Frenchman is certain to become the best player in the world.
Asked how he felt about the striker, Zidane replied: "Do you know that I know him for long time? It is not the first time [I will see him].
"I am in love with him. Firstly, as a person because he came here to do a trial a long time ago."
When pressed if he thinks Mbappe is in love with Real Madrid, Zidane said: "He is our rival and I cannot say anything else."
Mbappe could feature alongside Neymar for just the third time this season on Tuesday. Both players have been in and out of the side with injury problems and missed the reverse fixture in France, which PSG won 3-0.
"Sometimes the players you love the most are the ones you cannot have, but unfortunately for Zidane he is our player, although I'm sure he has a lot of players who he loves in his team," PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel said.
"I don't know how much Zidane loves Mbappe but he is our most important player and we are very happy that he belongs to us."
'Bale knows it's a special game'
Madrid trail their rivals by five points in Group A and will join PSG in guaranteeing their place in the knockout stages with victory.
The club's recent good form - winning five of their last six - has been overshadowed by boos from their fans aimed at Gareth Bale after he was pictured celebrating Wales' Euro 2020 qualification with a flag which read: "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order".
Zidane publicly defended Bale after their 3-1 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday and insists the Welshman is fully focused on his club.
"Tomorrow it is a very special game for everybody, also for Gareth Bale, for all the players and also for the fans," Zidane said.
"What we want to do is to play a great football game. All of us we need to be ready.
"We know they are playing an amazing season and we know how demanding the game it will be. We need to play a better game than the other games we have played so far."