Gareth Bale Doesn’t Want to Play at City, Reveals Zinedine Zidane

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Yesterday brought news that both Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez were left out of Real Madrid’s match day squad for their Champions League clash at Manchester City. With transfer rumors swirling about both players, it is natural to speculate that a potential move away from Madrid had something to do with this decision.

Turns out Bale just didn’t want to play, simple as that, according to manager Zinedine Zidane.

“We have a relationship of respect between coach and player. That’s clear,” Zidane said at his pre-match press conference today. The Frenchman would not elaborate, saying the Welshman’s reason for opting out was a personal decision.

“It’s a personal conversation. The only thing I can say is [Bale] preferred not to play. The rest is between him and I.”

Zidane said he has no problem with the former Tottenham Hotspur star, who’s only featured twice since the restart. Bale doesn’t fit at Madrid, and there are plenty of reports claiming the Bernabeu would like to move him out, but his astronomical wages, plus their demand to receive a substantial transfer fee in return holds up any potential deal.

“I respect Gareth a lot. Things have to stay inside the dressing room between players and coach. Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I respect that,” Zidane added.

“He preferred not to play, that’s the only thing I can tell you.”

Word is, according to several reports, Gareth Bale realized his chances of featuring were very slim, so he just didn’t want to travel with the club to the match.

zinedine zidane

As for James, he’s likely not part of the plans on Friday either, and he’s also been linked with a move to several new destinations, including David Beckham’s expansion MLS franchise.

UCL Round of 16 Leg 2 of 2 Manchester City vs Real Madrid FYIs

Kickoff: Friday Aug 7, 8pm Etihad stadium

Aggregate: City leads 2-1 from the first leg

Watch: CBS Sports, FuboTv

Starting XI Predictions for both sides: go to this link

Team news for both sides: go to this link

Odds: Real Madrid win +320  Draw +340 Manchester City win -139

Prediction: Manchester City 2, Real Madrid 0

While City will be without their all-time leading scorer, Madrid’s absentee list is longer and much more damaging to their cause. Los Blancos also have to fight uphill and away from home, thus a victory by the visiting side here would be surprising to say the least.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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