Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale 'wanted to play' vs Arsenal

'He is with us. For the moment, he is with us ... Nothing has changed, you know the situation'

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Gareth Bale 'wanted to play' but 'nothing has changed' on his Real Madrid future, says Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane said Gareth Bale "wanted to play" in Real Madrid's win over Arsenal, but that "nothing has changed" on his future.

The Wales forward scored the first of two Real goals in the victory before clearing a shot off the line and then missing a penalty in the shoot-out during an eventful cameo off the bench.

Less than 48 hours earlier, Zidane had signalled Bale's future at Real was all-but over, saying it was "best for everyone" if he left amid a public spat with his agent Jonathan Barnett, who accused the Real manager of disrespecting his player.

But speaking after an impressive performance at FedExPark, Washington DC, Zidane said: "Gareth Bale had a good match and played well. I'm happy for him.

"He is with us. For the moment, he is with us. He played because he wanted to be with us and play, the other day he didn't. He played and did well. That was my decision and for the future, we will see what will happen. Nothing has changed, you know the situation."

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Gareth Bale scores for Real Madrid as they draw 2-2 with Arsenal but then beat them in a penalty shoot-out. Pictures: Premier Sports

Zidane rejected question marks over whether a potentially serious knee injury suffered by Marco Asensio during the second half of their comeback could see an opportunity arise for Bale to stay, calling their situations "totally different".

But he added on the Spanish midfielder's condition: "We are a little worried about his injury. He went straight to the hospital to do examinations and we'll see.

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Image: Gareth Bale put a public spat over his future behind him to play a major part in Real Madrid's comeback

"But it seems bad. This is the bad news of the day for us because we are losing a player and we are a little touched by that, yes."

One other midfielder who was absent from the travelling squad in Washington altogether was Dani Ceballos, who has been closing in on a move to Arsenal in recent days.

Zidane said: "It's not done yet, the club is working on it. We will see in the next few days."

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