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Zidane coy on bringing Tottenham star Kane to Real Madrid ahead of Champions League tie

Real Madrid v Tottenham, Champions League H: Santiago Bernabeu, Tonight, 7.45pm

By Tom Allnutt

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has hailed Tottenham's Harry Kane as the "complete player" ahead of tonight's crunch Champions League clash between the sides.

But Zidane would not be drawn on any future move for the 24-year-old, who is regarded as one of the deadliest finishers in Europe after scoring 15 goals in his last 11 games.

Gareth Bale, who will not face his former club due to a calf injury, and Luka Modric swapped Spurs for Madrid in 2013 and 2012 respectively, and Kane has been linked with following suit.

"I don't know what will happen in the future," Zidane said. "But in the present, what he is doing has made him a very important player, a key player.

"He is very good at everything. But what he does, he always does it towards the goal, so to speak. He does not just stay (still) on the field, but he always attacks space at speed.

"He is a complete player. He did not seem to be one (at first), but in the end he is."

Kane already has five goals from Tottenham's opening two group games against Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia, with some billing this evening's meeting at the Santiago Bernabeu as a showdown between him and Cristiano Ronaldo.

"We know he is a very good player and things are going well for him, but Tottenham is not just Kane - they are a very good team and we will prepare for the game very well," Zidane said.

"We are playing against a very good team and that is good for us - it encourages us to play a good match. Tottenham has always been a great club, but they are constantly improving and they have a great coach. It will be a good game between two strong teams. It will be the group final."

Madrid and Tottenham are certainly the early front-runners in Group H, each sitting on six points, while Dortmund and Apoel are yet to get off the mark.

It means this fixture represents something of a free hit for Mauricio Pochettino's side, and they will also be boosted by the absence of their former hero Bale. Zidane could not guarantee the Wales forward would even be fit for the return fixture at Wembley in just over a fortnight.

"I can't tell you if he will be in the second match," Zidane said.

"I hope he will be with us soon - if he can play against Tottenham in London, that's great, but I can't take it for granted."

Mateo Kovacic is still out with a knee injury and Dani Carvajal is recovering from a heart problem but goalkeeper Keylor Navas is hoping to shake off a thigh strain and could return.

Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper Marca has apologised to Tottenham after publishing an article in which it claimed the club are disliked because of their "Jewish origin".

The piece, published yesterday, described the north London club as "hated, but with good footballing style", adding "their Jewish origin has made them into a club disliked by rival fans".

Despite having no Jewish origins, Tottenham have frequently been targeted with anti-Semitic chants, while Tottenham fans refer to themselves as 'yids' - a practice the Football Association would like to see ended.

Upon learning of the story in Marca, Spurs issued a robust response.

"We are astonished that a publication such as Marca, which presents itself as an alleged source of professional journalism, has seen fit to publish such an article which is blatantly wrong and wholly distasteful," a spokesman said.

Marca subsequently claimed that the exact meaning of the word "hated" had been lost in translation, but apologised for the offence caused.

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