Gareth Bale declined to play against Bayern Munich in the pre-season friendly, says Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane
Gareth Bale did not feature in the starting lineup or bench for Real Madrid's first game of the pre-season against Bayern Munich with Zinedine Zidane claiming a transfer is in the works for the Welshman.
Zidane said it was Bale who chose not to play in Madrid's 3-1 friendly defeat to Bayern in Houston on Saturday
Zidane had been branded a 'disgrace' by Bale's agent for his comments after the Saturday match, when he said he hoped Bale's move from the club happened soon
Bale has been frozen out in Madrid by Zidane despite helping his side to a Spanish title and four Champions Leagues since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur six year ago
Washington: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has denied disrespecting Wales star Gareth Bale as he discussed the expected transfer of the 30-year-old forward from the La Liga giants on Monday.
Speaking to reporters on the eve of Real Madrid's friendly with Arsenal at FedEx Field -- home of the NFL's Washington Redskins -- Zidane said it was Bale who chose not to play in Madrid's 3-1 friendly defeat to Bayern in Houston on Saturday.
"I did not disrespect anyone, least of all Gareth," a frustrated-sounding Zidane said. "I said that the club is working to facilitate Bale's departure, nothing more.
"The other day, Gareth did not dress for the game, he did not want to because the club was negotiating his departure," he added.
Zidane had been branded a "disgrace" by Bale's agent for his comments after the Saturday match, when he said he hoped Bale's move from the club happened soon "for everyone's sake."
"He shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid," agent Jonathan Barnett fumed.
Bale has been frozen out in Madrid by Zidane despite helping his side to a Spanish title and four Champions Leagues since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur six year ago.
His brace, including a brilliant bicycle kick, sank Liverpool in the 2018 final, but he was shunted aside by Zidane as soon as he returned to the Real bench in early March.
After Zidane's reappointment, Bale played 90 minutes in just three of the remaining 11 matches, was left out completely four times and frequently substituted when he did play.
"Today, he is a Real Madrid player," Zidane said, adding that the striker would train with the team Monday night.
LaLiga: Marco Asensio's hat-trick helps Real Madrid thrash Mallorca 6-1; Sevilla hand Valencia 3-1 loss
Victory lifts Real Madrid two points clear of Atletico at the top of La Liga, with Sevilla up to third after they had earlier eased past Valencia 3-1.
Valencia sit level at top with Atletico and Real Madrid on 10 points after they continued their strong start under new coach Jose Bordelas with a 4-1 win away at Osasuna.
Luis Suarez scored twice, including an injury-time winner, as Atletico Madrid came from behind to beat 10-man Getafe 2-1 and move top of LaLiga on Tuesday.