Macnchester: In an intriguing twist to the saga involving Gerath Bale's future at Real Madrid, the forward asked not to be included in the squad for the Champions League trip to Manchester City, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.
Bale has become a peripheral figure at the Spanish champions after falling out of favor under Zidane.
“It was a personal conversation I had with him,” Zidane said. “He preferred not to play. The rest remains between me and him but he said he didn’t want to play.”
The 31-year-old Wales international’s last appearance for Madrid was on June 24.
Madrid are trying to overturn a 2-1 loss against City from the first leg in February of the pandemic-delayed round of 16.
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Captain Sergio Ramos will travel with the squad to England, despite being banned for the match after he was sent off towards the end of the first leg.
Uefa’s coronavirus protocols allow Madrid’s captain to enter the stadium and be in the dressing room with the players, but he cannot sit on the bench.
Ramos will also have to be tested along with the rest of the squad.