Zinedine Zidane insists everyone at Real Madrid is “united”, even frozen out duo Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.
The French coach brushed off the latest round of speculation surrounding Bale at his Thursday news conference.
The 30-year-old forward has barely featured for Real since the restart after the coronavirus pandemic. In fact he has played just 100 minutes in La Liga since the enforced break.
Bale has sat on the bench in the last five games and he faces another two years of that with his deal running until 2022.
However, his behaviour in the last week has been strange. Against Deportivo Alaves he was seen on camera with his face mask over his eyes,. While he simulated holding a pair of binoculars in front of his face while he watched Madrid’s meeting with Granada on Monday.
Put to Spanish football expert Gibson that Bale appears to be stagnating at the Bernabeu, he told the PA news agency: “That’s an understatement.
“He’s started one of the games since the return to play and he doesn’t even warm-up on the touchline now. He just sits there.
“He had the facemask pulled over his eyes and pretended he was asleep and the other night there’s a new picture where he’s got something rolled up and it looks like he’s looking for a telescope at the game. It’s bizarre.
“But I think it’s a real shame. I think it’s a lesson for big clubs that when they buy these big players they have to have a use for them because not many others can afford to take them off your hands.
“But in saying that, Gareth Bale has been a success at Real Madrid. You can’t say he’s been a waste of the money. He’s not alone. James Rodriguez doesn’t even make the bench now with 10 subs at Real Madrid.
“So, Gareth Bale is in the squad but doesn’t warm-up, isn’t going to come on and it’s just bizarre.”
Asked if Bale should leave Madrid, Zidane told a news conference: “What a question.
“You try to put things between us, but you won’t be able to. Every day you ask the same thing. You can do it; you have the right to ask what you want.
“But we’re united. Gareth, James [Rodriguez], everyone.”
Madrid will be crowned champions if they beat Villarreal on Thursday, or if Barcelona fail to beat Osasuna in a match that will be played simultaneously in Catalonia.