Zinedine Zidane has sparked rumours of a bid from Real Madrid for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah after admitting he is a fan of the in-form Egyptian.
Salah, who endured a frustrating spell with Chelsea during his previous spell in the Premier League, has been a revelation for the Reds this season, scoring 19 goals in 25 games in all competitions.
After leaving the Blues, Salah spent time on loan at Fiorentina and Roma before making his switch to the Italian capital a permanent one.
And such were his displays in Serie A last season, that Liverpool were prepared to part ways with a club-record, initial €42million that could rise to €50m.
Real, meanwhile, are in search of attacking reinforcements ahead of the January transfer window, but it is highly unlikely that Liverpool would part ways with Salah at this stage of the season.
Speaking ahead of his side's Club World Cup final clash with Gremio in Abu Dhabi, Zidane said: "Salah is great player, [he has] shown that at Roma, now Liverpool.
"He is still young, improving all the time. I don't talk much about other players, but he is a player I rate a lot."
Zidane also dispelled comments that Karim Benzema is having a poor season by his standards, saying: "I don't agree with the way he's been criticised.
"What's important for me is not only goals. Karim is a different player; he won't score 50, 60 goals but he's scored a lot of goals in our shirt.
"For me, Karim is one of the best in this sense as a team player. I defend him to the death because he is not only one who could have problems."