Zinedine Zidane had some kind words for Gareth Bale after the Welshman scored for Real Madrid against Arsenal on Tuesday night, but insists his future still remains elsewhere.
Bale came on to score in a 2-2 draw with the Gunners in Maryland, before Real won the match on penalties.
Zidane was impressed with the winger’s commitment and his display in the pre-season friendly, but it has done little to convince him that he should retain his services.
The Real boss has made it very clear that he wants to sell the former Spurs man this summer, and he is sticking to his guns.
‘He put in a good performance and I’m pleased for him,’ said Zidane. ‘Nothing has changed, you know the situation.
‘He played today, he wanted to and he did a good job.
‘He wanted to be with us today; he trained normally and played the match. I make the decisions and he played one half.
‘We’ll have to see what happens. He’s still here with us at this stage.’
Bale scored in the 56th minute for Real after coming on for Eden Hazard at half-time, halving his side’s deficit after Arsenal took a 2-0 lead through Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Marco Asensio levelled things up taking the match to penalties where Bale missed his spot-kick but Real won 3-2 after misses from Granit Xhaka, Nacho Monreal and Robbie Burton.
Asensio went off injured in the second half, with a seemingly serious knee ligament injury, which could see him miss the entirety of the coming season.
However, Zidane confirmed that the fitness problem would not change his opinion on Bale: ‘We are all touched by Marco’s injury and we are all hoping it is not as serious as it looks, but it has nothing to do with Bale’s position.’
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, who labelled Zidane a ‘disgrace’ insists his client could still have a future in Madrid and will not be pushed out of the club.
‘There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club,’ Bale’s agent Barnett told Sky Sports. ‘Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club.’
Gareth is a Real Madrid player and for now he’s staying as a Real Madrid player ‘If something comes along that suits us, then things could change and he could be gone in a day or a week. ‘Or he could still be a Real player in three years when his contract ends.’