Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale remains 'one of us' at Real Madrid

"Gareth is one of us, like always, he's here and I'm going to count on him"

Gareth Bale 0:56
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale's role at the club remains as important as ever

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale remains "one of us", despite the winger not featuring in the club's past two matches.

Bale, who came close to leaving for Chinese club Jiangsu Suning in the summer transfer window, was an unused substitute against Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek after he was left out of Real's 2-0 win against Espanyol last weekend.

But Zidane says Bale remains firmly in his plans as Real prepare to face in-form Valencia on Sunday before visiting Barcelona on Wednesday during a busy run of fixtures ahead of the winter break and the January transfer window.

"I don't think Gareth's role is less important now. I'm making my decisions, you know?" Zidane said on Saturday.

Gareth Bale was an unused substitute as Real Madrid beat Club Brugge on Wednesday
Image: Gareth Bale was an unused substitute as Real Madrid beat Club Brugge on Wednesday

"I made three changes during the last match and Gareth wasn't there. But Gareth is one of us, like always, he's here and I'm going to count on him.

"You need to know that I have 25 players and they´re all important to me. All of them."

Zidane stated last month he wants Bale to remain at the Bernabeu for the rest of the season - despite reports of a January move away.

Also See:

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid speaks with Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Sociedad at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on November 23, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
Image: Zinedine Zidane appealed to Real Madrid fans to support Bale after he was subjected to jeers on his return to club action last month

The Frenchman also vowed to respect Paris Saint-Germain's relationship with Kylian Mbappe amid rumours of disharmony between the forward and Thomas Tuchel at the Parc des Princes.

Zidane admitted to being "in love" with Mbappe last month, with Real frequently linked with a move for his countryman, who admitted earlier this year he is open to a "new project".

Kylian Mbappe
Image: Kylian Mbappe has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at PSG

Asked if he thinks the problems Mbappe is having with his coach might bring him closer to Real, Zidane replied: "I don´t know.

"Kylian Mbappe is a PSG player, and I'm not going to make any comments about what´s going on there, that would be disrespectful.

"Besides that, everyone knows I know Kylian very well, but I have to respect things from here."

How to follow the January transfer window

Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.

Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.

Meanwhile, the Transfer Talk podcast will also be back at the turn of the year with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.

And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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