Zinedine Zidane has reiterated that he is “counting on” Gareth Bale after the winger ended up staying at Real Madrid.
Zidane made no secret of the fact Bale was surplus to requirements this summer with the manager even saying it would be “best for everyone” if the Welshman left the Bernabeu.
But Los Blancos’ inability to sell the 30-year-old combined with injuries to other players means he has started both of the club’s first two games of the season and looks likely to stay beyond next week’s transfer deadline.
And speaking after Saturday’s draw with Real Valladolid, Zidane explained the situation.
“What has changed is that the player wants to stay, nothing more,” he told reporters
“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.”
Meanwhile, Zidane was distinctly unimpressed with his players after they squandered a one-goal lead in the 88th minute against Valladolid.
“You can lose the ball, that can happen, but we were out of position to defend,” he fumed.
“We had done the most difficult, scoring a goal, and then we need to get the ball the fuck out of there for the rest of the game.
“We know we have to play the 90 minutes. We can’t just play 50 or 60 minutes.”