Football: Bale left out by Zidane for Man City test

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale with coach Zinedine Zidane during a drinks break against Real Mallorca on June 24, 2020.
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale with coach Zinedine Zidane during a drinks break against Real Mallorca on June 24, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's squad for their Champions League last 16 second leg against Manchester City on Friday (Aug 7).

Zinedine Zidane named 24 players on Wednesday for the trip to Manchester, where Madrid are aiming to overturn a 2-1 first-leg defeat to reach the quarter-finals.

But Bale, 31, was not on the list, adding another low-point to a turbulent season for the Welshman, who has hardly featured for Madrid this year.

Despite Madrid storming to the La Liga title, Bale made only two appearances during the 11 games after La Liga resumed, one of them from the start.

He was pictured standing away from the team's celebrations with Zidane after their league success was confirmed and had caused a stir by pretending to be asleep during Madrid's game against Alaves.

Zidane's decision to omit Bale completely from the squad to face City is another clear indication the Frenchman would prefer to be rid of Bale and his €18 million (S$30 million) salary this summer.

But interested clubs are likely to be put off by the finances involved while Bale and his representatives insist he is happy to see out his Madrid contract, which expires in 2022.