Real Madrid: Zidane: "Bale didn't play the other day because he didn't want to..."
Zidane: "I didn't disrespect anyone - least of all a player. Bale is a Real Madrid player, he will be training as normal and we'll see what happens against Arsenal".
Just two days after claiming it would be better for everyone all round if Gareth Bale left Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane returned to face the media to preview Real Madrid's friendly with Arsenal. Bale's situation was once again the main talking point and Zidane wanted to make himself clear about what he meant when he said: "If Bale leaves tomorrow, then that would be even better".
Gareth Bale: "Sometimes my Spanish is a little muddled. I'm going to try to be very clear on this, regarding Gareth's situation. Firstly, I didn't disrespect anyone - least of all a player because I've always said the same - that the players are the most important ones and I am always right behind them. Secondly, I said that the club is dealing with his transfer. That's all. And thirdly, I think that is important too. The other day, Gareth didn't play because he didn't want to - it's as simple as that. He said that the club is trying to find an outlet for him and that's why he didn't play. Now we are right back where we started. Bale is a Real Madrid player and he will be training as normal today and we'll see what happens tomorrow. I have no new updates on the operation".
So Gareth Bale asked the club if it was ok if he didn't play but didn't ask you? Has he said to you that he doesn't want to play tomorrow? "He will train as normal today and tomorrow is another day, we'll see what happens".
Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett said that what Zidane said in public was a disgrace. Did Bale ask you to leave or did you tell him he has to leave? "You can ask the question but I've already replied to the first part of it. You all know the situation. Now Gareth will be training as normal with the squad. After that we'll see what happens in tomorrow's game".
As the coach, you have left Bale out of the team or left him on the bench. Is the reason why he doesn't fit into your plans sports-related? "He's a player in the squad".
Mbappé, Neymar…: "I have a squad here and I'm focused on the players I have. It makes sense".
Zidane in the dark about James
James Rodríguez: "He's still a Real Madrid player. I don't know what will happen. You know the situation".
Bale… is it uncomfortable for you to plan training sessions with him in the squad but not playing? "You know my answer to that - not at all. I have to respect the players. I can't lie; he'll be doing the same as everyone else".
Rodrygo's position: "His position is on the right wing, but we are still in the preparation stage. We'll see when we get back to Madrid. All we want is for the team to put in a good game against Arsenal".