Zidane dismisses fresh rumours of Bale leaving Madrid
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.
The firefighting came amid another bout of speculation in the media which rumoured that Bale is in England and has sounded out his agent Jonathan Barnett to find a new club for him.
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 and that he is not aware the for- ward, 30, wants to be sold. “It was a personal issue and he had permission yesterday to go,” Zidane said yesterday. “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,” Zidane said.
“What happened in the summer was the situation at the time and in the end Gareth stayed and all the better for everyone.
“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.
“I spoke to him and I spoke to James (Rodriguez). Both of them weren’t available to play against Brugge and they didn’t play,” Zidane said.
“There’s nothing else to say about that.”
Spanish daily Marca reported that Bale was unhappy about being left out for the game against Brugge, which ended in a 2-2 draw. adding that the club were willing to let a player they signed for £85 million in 2013 leave for free.
Neither Bale nor his agent have yet commented on the latest reports.
Bale’s Madrid contract runs until the summer of 2022. He has scored over 100 goals for the club and won a host of trophies, including a La Liga, Copa del Rey and four Champions League titles.
Bale has played just 53 per cent of Madrid’s matches in the last six seasons due to the 26 different injuries he has suffered.
Madrid, currently sixth in La Liga, are next in action tonight when they take on bottom-club Leganes.
Also missing the game will be Nacho, who has a knee problem, and Marco Asensio, who is recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Rodriguez missed training due to the birth of his child.