The Spanish side’s head coach reveals that he was pleased with the Welshman’s goalscoring performance but he still seems destined to leave
Zinedine Zidane praised Gareth Bale’s goalscoring performance against Arsenal but insisted nothing had changed with the Real Madrid outcast.
Bale came off the bench to rescue Madrid in the International Champions Cup, scoring from close range to bring his side back into the match after they trailed 2-0 at half-time courtesy of goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tipped to leave Madrid this summer, Bale sat out the loss to Bayern Munich, with Zidane confirming after the match that the club were looking to offload the winger this summer.
That sparked a war of words between the club and the player’s representative, with agent Jonathan Barnett calling Zidane “a disgrace” before the Real Madrid boss insisted that he had not disrespected the Wales international.
Zidane also claimed that Bale did not play against Bayern because he didn’t want to, leading to suggestions that he may have played his last game for the club.
But he was surprisingly involved in Maryland after Zidane claimed the 30-year-old was close to departing the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring early in the second half to spark a comeback in a match that Madrid eventually won on penalties.
Despite scoring in the game, Zidane insists nothing has changed in terms of Bale’s future, leaving open the possibility that the former Tottenham winger could be on the move before the start of the new season.
Asked about Bale’s performance on Tuesday, Zidane – who saw Nacho Fernandez sent off in the ninth minute for a handball – told reporters: “He has played a good game and I am happy for him. As I am for everyone.
“He is with us and we will continue working. We played well 10 against 11 and were better with 10 against 10. I don’t know what will happen. He wanted to play and the other day he didn’t.
“I haven’t talked to him. He has trained normally and that’s why he played. Nothing has changed, you know what the situation is like.”
The club’s ICC commitments for the year will come to an end on Friday, when they take on rivals Atletico Madrid in New Jersey before heading to Germany to play in the Audi Cup.
They will face Tottenham in the semi-final of that pre-season competition on July 30 before another friendly clash with RB Salzburg on August 7.
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Zidane and his side kick-off their 2019-20 Liga campaign with an away fixture against Celta Vigo on August 17.