Zidane: Real Madrid need 'more strength in attack,' amid Neymar, Hazard links

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has said he would like to sign a forward player in the summer as the club needs "more strength in attack" next season.

Since returning to Bernabeu as manager in March, Zidane has spoken often about "changes" coming to the squad once their disappointing 2018-19 campaign ends -- while talking openly of admiring Eden Hazard, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Paul Pogba.

Karim Benzema, the only Madrid player to score in the past five matches, will miss Sunday's La Liga game at Rayo Vallecano with a hamstring injury -- and Zidane was asked at a news conference if he hoped to have more options up front.

"Yes, the idea is to have more strength in attack next year," Zidane said. "We will see what happens.

"I have a very clear idea what I want to do, the players, profiles I want. [But] I do not have full power [over transfers]. I am coach here, there is also the institution, the president, other important people. Things are done together here, and that is what will happen for next season."

With Paris Saint Germain forward Neymar having said this week that he would like to play alongside Chelsea's Hazard, Zidane was asked whether the duo could be future Madrid teammates.

"Many players know that this is an important club, and many players want to play here," the Frenchman said. "That is normal.

"It is a club where dreams come true. But we will have to see what happens."

Zidane again refused to confirm whether Gareth Bale would be a Madrid player next season, with rumours the Wales international will leave refusing to go away -- while he dismissed suggestions the ex-Tottenham man could not play alongside Hazard.

"Bale is happy, he has had playing minutes with me lately," he said. "In the end we will see what happens, but I am not to tell Gareth what to do.

"He is a player in our squad, and will play between now and end of season.

"All the good players can play together. People before said I could not play with [fellow World Cup 98 winner Youri] Djorkaeff. What craziness."

Zidane also suggested players who know they will not feature regularly next season would be better served leaving the club.

"Those who have contracts can choose to stay even if they will not play," Zidane said. "But all players want to play football. If you ask me would I prefer to play more elsewhere, I would say yes."

Zidane said he would be rotating his squad again for Sunday's game at bottom side Rayo Vallecano, with midfielders Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente among those getting recalls.

Benzema joins Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Odriozola on Madrid's injury list, with teenager attacker Vinicius Junior also not yet ready to return.