MUNICH, July 31 — Gareth Bale was not fit to travel with Real Madrid for their pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur in Munich, manager Zinedine Zidane has said.
Wales international Bale yesterday missed the Audi Cup match, which Spurs won 1-0, following the collapse of his proposed move to China.
British media reported Real’s board refused to approve Bale’s departure, with Jiangsu Suning wanting to acquire the 30-year-old on a free transfer.
“He didn’t travel because he wasn’t fit,” Zidane told reporters after the match at Allianz Arena.
“After speaking with the doctors, the best thing was for him to stay in Madrid. He stayed back and is training there. It was a joint decision between the player, medical staff and the coach.”
Bale, who has won four Champions League titles since joining Madrid from Tottenham in 2013, appears to be out of favour at the Spanish club after Zidane said last week he was “very close to leaving”.
With a little over a week of the close season transfer window remaining, Spurs have only signed two players — one of them, Jack Clarke, immediately returning to the Championship side Leeds on loan.
Mauricio Pochettino, who has previously distanced himself from the club’s underwhelming business, said his job title should be changed from manager to coach as he has no influence over transfers.
“I am not in charge and I know nothing about the situation of my players,” the Argentine said.
“The club need to change my (job) title and description, no? My job now is to coach the team. It’s not a question for me, it’s a question for the club and maybe they need to change my title.” — Reuters