Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has denied a rift with Gareth Bale and wished the winger well ahead of his impending return to Tottenham Hotspur on loan.
Asked about the suggestion that Bale is leaving Real because he and Zidane do not see eye to eye, the Frenchman said: “It’s not like that. It’s more complicated. With Bale it’s always about one side against the other. But I’ve never had a problem with Gareth.”
“There will always be things that happen,” he added.
“Now he’s making a change, all we can do is wish him the best… These things happen in football, but I’ve always said he was a spectacular player.”
Zidane also said Bale’s loan move to Spurs is not yet a “done deal.”
Bale arrived at Tottenham’s training ground on Friday ahead of his proposed return to the club, whom he left for Real in 2013.
Gareth Bale & Sergio Reguilon arriving at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground! ✍️ pic.twitter.com/NularumGp1
Despite his loan to the north London outfit not yet being official, Real have already handed his No. 11 shirt to Marco Asensio.
The Welshman still has two years remaining on his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, so it’s possible he could yet return to the Spanish capital next summer, but it seems his Real career will come to a disappointing end given what he has achieved at the club.
The 31-year-old has made 251 appearances for Los Blancos, racking up 105 goals and 68 assists along the way, helping them win four UEFA Champions League titles, two La Liga titles and the Copa del Rey, among other honors.
Bale scored three goals in those four Champions League finals, including his sensational overhead kick as part of a brace against Liverpool in the 2018 showpiece.
“I know what he has done for this club,” Zidane added. “He always proved his quality and what he has achieved with the club cannot be argued with.”
Not everyone believed Zidane’s comments, though. One fan even suggested the manager has “literally tried his absolute best to erase” Bale’s achievements at the club.
he’s literally tried his absolute best to erase it
Translation:I couldn’t care less about Bale, we’ve already given his shirt number to Asensio so he better not come back.
Zidane and Bale were widely thought not to get along during the coach’s first spell at the club, in which he did not start the winger in the 2017 or 2018 Champions League finals.
After departing the club at the end of the 2017-18 season, Zidane returned to Real in March last year. Bale did not feature in the final three matches of the 2018-19 campaign.
Last season he made just 20 appearances in all competitions, having made it onto the pitch in just three of their final 16 games.