La Liga

Zidane: Bale asked not to play against Man City

The Real Madrid boss has revealed that it was at the request of his player that he was left out of the Champions League squad for this week

7:27pm on Thursday 6th August 2020
Martin Macdonald

Zinedine Zidane has revealed the reason for Gareth Bale being omitted from Real Madrid’s Champions League squad to face Man City - the player asked not to be involved.

At the beginning of last season it seemed Bale was surplus to requirements at the Santiago Bernabeu, with rumours circulating of a potential move to China.

No transfer happened and Bale stayed with the club, but has been sparingly used by Zidane in the league and Champions League.

Now that the transfer window has opened ahead of the new campaign, speculation surrounding Bale’s future has started again, with fuel being added to it after he was not included in Madrid’s squad to play Man City.

Zidane claims it was Bale’s choice, though.

“The only thing to say - and this is a personal conversation between us – is that he preferred not to play,” the Madrid boss said.

“The rest remains between me and him. I have explained what the situation is and I don’t want to add anything else.

“He’s not injured. I really respect him and all the other players. Things that happen in the dressing room stay there.”

As for Bale’s Real Madrid future, Zidane didn’t speculate on any potential exit from the club.

“He is a current player of Real Madrid,” he added.

“That does not change anything. He is our player. I respect that and respect him.

“He prefers not to play. That’s all I can say. We are all here ready and prepared for the game and that’s all we are concentrating on.”

Real Madrid will take on Man City in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Friday, with Pep Guardiola’s side leading 2-1 from the first leg.

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