Zinedine Zidane plays down ‘Gareth Bale beef’ rumors

    Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane maintains there’s no beef with Gareth Bale as the Welshman returns to the fold for the Osasuna trip

    Bale has been ruled out of action for over a month but is on the verge of making his first La Liga appearance since January 4 after making it to the squad that will face Osasuna on Sunday.

    After skipping the Spanish Super Cup, the away-linked forward also had to remain on the sidelines in Real’s league victories over Sevilla, Valladolid, and Atletico Madrid.

    The 30-year-old has broken one of the club’s rules that forbids the sidelined players to walk away from matches before the 80th minute after being caught leaving the Santiago Bernabeu 15 minutes ahead of the final whistle during Real’s 4-3 loss to Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey.

    Heavily linked with a move away from the Spanish capital, Bale has fallen out with the coach and vast majority of fans, but Zidane reveals there’s no altercation between the two of them.

    “I have to make a squad list, and sometimes he isn’t in it, but there’s no problem, it’s not a lack of respect,” said the Frenchman, as reported by the Daily Mail.

    “We still count on him, and he wants to fight for his place in the team. He hasn’t been in the team recently, but we still count on him, we know what he can give us.”

    Bale has endured another injury-plagued season that has seen him collect just nine La Liga starts so far and score only twice in the process.

    Although his manager confirmed last month that his client wants to see out his contract at the Bernabeu, the Welshman could be on his way out of the club at the end of the season.

    Tottenham Hotspur are eager for a reunion with their former star but have to overcome Bale’s staggering wages to make the deal possible.

    Even with Bale’s modest contribution, Los Blancos are still three points clear of Barcelona at the summit.


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