Rafa Benitez has been in touch with Real Madrid Castilla coach Zinedine Zidane to see which youngsters might join up with the seniors next year.
Former boss Carlo Ancelotti called up a number of youngsters to train with the squad last season, including defender Diego Llorente, midfielder Alvaro Medran and attackers Raul de Tomas and Borja Mayoral.
Teenage starlet Martin Odegaard, signed from Stromgodset in January, has always trained with the first team during the week and then played most weekends with the youths.
Zidane told AS that Benitez, who was Castilla coach himself back in the 1990s, had called him for his thoughts.
“[Benitez] wanted to speak with the Castilla coach to know which players from the youth system would be going with him sometimes,” Zidane said.
Zidane was tipped as a successor to Ancelotti but apparently slipped out of the immediate thoughts of club president Florentino Perez after being unable to guide Castilla to promotion last season.
He said Benitez, who takes over as boss of Los Blancos after two years in Italy with Napoli, looked the right choice for the job, and would know from experience that results were “what counts” around the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
“The club has chosen Benitez and the choice seems the correct one to me, it is a total change and you must respect it,” the Frenchman said. “He has won trophies, he knows the place having been here in the youth system, and he knows that what counts at Real Madrid are results.”
Perez had not consulted him before deciding to fire Ancelotti after the 2014-15 campaign ended without the team winning any major trophies, Zidane said.
“The president did not speak to me when taking the decision,” he said. “I spoke with Carlo after the news because I like him. The work he did at Madrid was impressive.”
Zidane said he was happy to remain at Castilla and have another go at achieving promotion from the third tier next season.
“I am staying as I want to continue,” he said. “There was a challenge to get promoted and we did not achieve that. We want to try and do it again.
“I would like to train at some point in the top flight, and if it is here, then even better. But I would not rule out it happening elsewhere, even though at the moment I am with Castilla.”