Zi­dane dis­misses fresh ru­mours of Bale leav­ing Madrid

The National - News - - SPORT FOOTBALL -

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.

Gareth Bale

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