Gareth Bale 'preferred not to play' for Real Madrid vs Man City, says Zinedine Zidane

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After seven years at Real Madrid, it seems Gareth Bale’s Spanish nightmare will be coming to an end this summer.

It certainly seems strange to call Bale’s spell at the Bernabeu a ‘nightmare’ considering he’s scored more than 100 goals for the club and won 13 trophies during his time.

He’s even scored in two Champions League finals, winning the competition on four occasions.

But he’s not particularly liked in Spain.

His obsession with golf and his unwillingness to fit in with the culture at the club has seen him become an outcast. Hounded by the media and seemingly without any friends, it’s all got a bit sad for Bale.

Of course, his £600,000-per-week wages certainly don’t help and his relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane has become toxic.

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Bale has played just 16 times in La Liga this season and his behaviour in the final few weeks of the season shows he simply doesn’t care anymore.

So when he was left out of Real’s Champions League squad for their last-16 second leg with Manchester City, it wouldn’t particularly surprising.

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Bale has played just 100 minutes of football since it returned but with the La Liga champions trailing City 2-1 from the first leg, Zidane could have used the Welshman as a surprise weapon off the bench if they needed a goal or two.

But no.

And when asked about his absence in their 24-man squad, Zidane suggested that Bale didn’t want to be involved.

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"Many things have been said but we have a respectful relationship between the club and player," Zidane said.

But all I'll say is he preferred to not play. The rest is between us and him.

He later added: "Bale didn't disappoint me. I'm not going to tell you anything. It's the third question about Gareth, I just said what happened. I have a lot of respect for Gareth and things should be inside the locker room between the players and the coach."

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Errrr it’s a bit late, Zinedine. You’ve just told us all that Bale didn't want to be picked.

When you consider that captain Sergio Ramos, who is suspended for the tie, is still travelling with the squad to Manchester you’ve got to consider Bale’s future now looks in real doubt.

Bale did previously state that he would be seeing out his current contract, which runs until the end of the 2021-22 season. But Zidane will no doubt have something to say about that.

The sooner he leaves, the better.

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