Zidane explains Bale's absence


Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has explained why Gareth Bale has not featured regularly for Los Blancos this year, after it was reported he left the Copa del Rey game early on Wednesday.

Bale was widely expected to leave the Santiago Bernabeu before the season after being linked with a move to the Chinese Super League.

The Welshman has not featured as much as he would have liked to since the turn of the year, but Zidane insists he will rely on the forward for the rest of the season.

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"Yes, and I'm happy with all the players I have here," Zidane said, as per Marca.

"I know the answer you're looking for, but I have 25 players at my disposal and I have to pick a team. There's no issues or underlying problems and I'm sure he's going to keep working as he has been and he's going to be a part of this team."

"The most important thing is he wants to be here, wants to work hard, wants to train.

"There are times when he's not named in the matchday squad but I wouldn't read between the lines. I understand everyone has a point of view but he's going to be a player I'll lean on from now until the end."