Real Madrid‘s Gareth Bale played for the first time in four pre-season matches on Sunday to suggest he could yet regain his place under coach Zinedine Zidane.
Speaking after a 2-2 draw with Roma, which the Spanish side lost 5-4 on a penalty shoot-out – 7-6 overall – the Madrid coach insisted that he still considers both James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale part of his team.
Madrid are looking to overhaul their squad after a disappointing season in which they were out of contention for any major title several weeks before the end of the campaign.
“James and Bale are players of this club, they are both in the team. We count on all the players we have, then something could happen until the 31st, but they are Real Madrid players and as the coach I need to count on all the players, ” Zidane said when asked if James Rodriguez and Bale are still part of his plans going into the new season.
Watch Zidane’s full thoughts above.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane shied away from queries regarding the possibility of the club signing Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.
The Brazilian has strongly been linked to a move out of the French capital, with PSG director Leonardo confirming that the player could return to La Liga. However, his destination is still not confirmed, with El Clasico rivals Barcelona and Madrid tussling for his signature.
When asked about the possibility of signing Neymar, Zidane preferred to remain tight-lipped. He maintained that he will continue to work with the current roster and try to achieve the objectives.
However, he did admit that anything can happen in the three weeks before the transfer window closes.
“We are going to play with the roster we have. Anything can happen then, as you said there are three more weeks (before the end of the transfer window), but the reality is the team that we have now. We know we need to play a great season, and nothing else,” he said after his team’s defeat to Roma on penalties in their final pre-season friendly.
Watch the full video above.
Gareth Bale impressed on his return to action for Real Madrid as a substitute in a 2-2 pre-season draw with Roma.
The Wales international, who was expected to leave the Spanish giants this summer after falling out of favour with boss Zinedine Zidane, came on for the last 30 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico.
Bale saw Madrid president Florentino Perez pull the plug on a big-money move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning a fortnight ago.
The 30-year-old scored in the penalty shoot-out which decided the winners of the Mabel Green Cup, but Madrid lost 5-4.
Bale will now hope to be involved in the squad for Real’s first LaLiga game of the season against Celta Vigo next weekend.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport