Bale still has role to play – Zidane

Real Madrid
Gareth Bale

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale is still in his plans despite overlooking the winger in recent weeks.

Bale has been linked with a move away from Real Madrid over the past few transfer windows but Zidane seems happy to keep him on board.

Reports claimed he was on the verge of signing for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning last summer and a return to the Premier League has also been touted.

Talk of an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu in January has only intensified over the past few weeks, with Bale left out in the cold.

The Wales ace, who will want to get regular game time ahead of next summer’s European Championship, was left out of the squad for the win over Espanyol last weekend and was an unused substitute during the midweek Champions League clash with Club Brugge.

Los Blancos return to action on Sunday with a trip to Valencia and victory will move them ahead of Barcelona and to the top of La Liga.

It’s not clear if Bale will have a part to play at the Mestalla but Zidane insists he is always going to “count” on the former Spurs forward.

Zidane said: “I don’t think Gareth’s role is less important now. I’m making my decisions, you know?

“I made three changes during the last match and Gareth wasn’t there. But Gareth is one of us, like always, he’s here and I’m going to count on him. You need to know that I have 25 players and they´re all important to me. All of them.”