Gareth Bale’s camp are disputing the timeline of events purported by Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane at Thursday’s news conference.
Bale was left out of Zidane’s 24-man squad for the trip to face Man City on Friday, with captain Sergio Ramos included despite being suspended.
Zidane claimed the Welshman “preferred not to play” and was subsequently left at home ahead of the Champions League second-leg, last 16 clash.
Zidane said: “Many things have been said but we have a respectful relationship between the club and player. But all I’ll say is he preferred to not play. The rest is between us and him.”
Bale and co. are disputing the timeline of events with the Standard claiming: “His request to be left in Madrid was not because he did not want to play, therefore, but in order to avoid a further 90 minutes watching from the sidelines when he knows his coach has no intention of using him.”
Bale’s future with the La Liga giants looks uncertain to say the least after making just two appearances since the season resumed in June.
His behaviour while on the bench has also been under scrutiny after he was seen on camera with his face mask over his eyes against Deportivo Alaves last month. While he simulated holding a pair of binoculars in front of his face while he watched Madrid’s meeting with Granada days later.
Zidane claimed the pair’s relationship was “respectful”, but in truth the duo look as distant as ever.
Later in Real Madrrid’s news conference, Zidane 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.”
Bale’s agent has always claimed his client is “fine” and last month Jonathan Barnett said he will not leave on loan or on a permanent transfer.
“Gareth is fine. He has two years left on his contract,” he told BBC Sport.
“He likes living in Madrid and he is going nowhere.”