Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has reiterated that Gareth Bale “wants to stay” at the club, claiming the player has “changed” his mind.
Bale started his second game for Real this season in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Real Vallodolid in what has proved to be a huge turn around in events.
Zidane is now “counting on him” despite Bale looking like his time in Spain was up after he missed Real’s trip to Germany for the Audi Cup after his proposed transfer to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning collapsed.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett even confirmed last month: “It’s simple, Zidane doesn’t like Gareth.
“There’s no relationship between them. There never has been.”
In July Zidane said Bale was “very close to leaving”, having fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu, and that it was “best for everyone”.
PA claimed Bale skipped the trip to Germany as he was furious with his treatment at the hands of Zidane and Real president Florentino Perez and was not in the right frame of mind to play.
Now though the situation has changed dramatically with Zidane absolving himself and Real of any blame in the 30-year-old’s sour situation.
“What has changed is that the player wants to stay, nothing more,” Zidane said after being asked about Bale’s future.
“What is interesting for us, in the first place, is that the player wants to stay at the club, that is the most important thing.
“Now, there have been a lot of things said about this situation and I have talked about it too, but the most important thing is that the player wants to stay and we are counting on him.
“He is a really important player for us and he has demonstrated that and right now he has to keep doing what he has done.”
Bale still has three years remaining on his Madrid contract.