Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Zinedine Zidane dismisses speculation over Gareth Bale's future at Real Madrid

Manager insists Welshman does not 'speak about leaving' after fresh reports of discontent

Gareth Bale has had a fractious relationship with his Real Madrid manager. AFP
Gareth Bale has had a fractious relationship with his Real Madrid manager. AFP

Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale was given permission by Real Madrid to travel to London on Monday, and claims the Welshman never talks about leaving the club.

Bale has not played since injuring his calf during a game for Wales on October 13 and his trip to England has prompted speculation he will seek an exit from Madrid in January.

But Zidane insists Bale had permission to be absent on Monday and yesterday and that he is not aware the 30-year-old wants to be sold.

"It was a personal issue and he had permission yesterday to go," Zidane said.

"That's it, no story. He also went because he's not available to play. But I don't think he ever speaks about leaving. When he is available he plays, that's all there is to it."

Bale came close to a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning last summer after Zidane said it would be "best for everyone" if he left Real Madrid.

But the deal fell through at the last minute due to a disagreement over the transfer fee and Zidane is not expecting any fresh offers in January.

"I don't think there will be an offer and I haven't thought about it either. Gareth is a Real Madrid player," said Zidane.

"What happened in the summer was the situation at the time and in the end Gareth stayed and all the better for everyone.

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"It's true what was said didn't help but for me the result is the most important thing. He's an important player and it's important he plays and he plays well.

"If in January he says he'll stay, there will be talk about the transfer window in the summer. Unfortunately people will always speak about these things but he's here and everyone is happy he's here."

Zidane claimed he has a "good relationship" with Bale but reports suggest the forward remains on bad terms with the Frenchman.

Bale was particularly unimpressed by his omission from Madrid's squad to face Club Brugge in the Champions League earlier this month.

After the match, Zidane put his absence down to a fitness issue but those close to Bale insist he was fully fit.

Updated: October 29, 2019 09:42 PM

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