Zinedine Zidane: 'Nothing Has Changed' on Gareth Bale Future After Arsenal Goal

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2019

LANDOVER, MD - JULY 23: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid misses his penalty during the International Champions Cup fixture between Real Madrid and Arsenal at FedExField on July 23, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said "nothing has changed" regarding Gareth Bale's future despite his goal against Arsenal in the International Champions Cup. 

In his first pre-season appearance, Bale came off the bench to net for Los Blancos in an ill-tempered 2-2 draw on Tuesday. The Wales international had missed Real's match against Bayern Munich on Saturday.

After the meeting with the Gunners, Zidane was asked again for his thoughts on Bale, with the coach having previously spoken candidly about how he wants the player to leave the club this summer, per Sacha Pisani of Goal:

"He is with us, and we will continue working. We play well 10 against 11 and better 10 against 10. I don't know what will happen. He wanted to play and the other day no.

"I haven't talked to him. He has trained normally and that's why he played. Nothing has changed, you know what the situation is like."

The competition Twitter account shared a clip of Bale's goal from FedExField in Washington, D.C.:

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Plenty were surprised to see the 30-year-old involved in the game given the recent war of words between Zidane and his camp.

After the match against Bayern Munich, Zidane said "we hope he leaves soon" when asked about Bale's future. The Frenchman also said that before the match with the Bundesliga club, Bale "didn't get changed for the game because he didn't want to."

Meanwhile, Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett hit back after some of Zidane's comments:

His overall record compares favourably to that of his manager, who was a Madrid icon:

It doesn't appear as though finding a new home for Bale will be straightforward. 

Sid Lowe of the Guardian reported Bale was considering a move to the Chinese Super League, with Manchester United no longer interested in the Welshman and Bayern Munich unable to afford the winger.

However, as BBC Sport's Simon Stone relayed, reports from China indicate that a transfer taking Bale to the country is now unlikely:

Spanish football commentator Rob Palmer thinks Bale's exit may be important in Madrid getting other deals over the line:

Despite his remarkable success at the Santiago Bernabeu—Bale has won the UEFA Champions League four times, scoring on three occasions across four finals—there has never been a strong affinity between the former Tottenham Hotspur star and the Madridistas.

With that in mind, Zidane's attempts to accelerate a transfer aren't likely to kick up much of a fuss among the fanbase. It will now be intriguing to see if Los Blancos are able to find a club to take one of their top earners off their hands before the transfer window closes.

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