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Gareth Bale: Real Madrid forward

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Bale has won the Champions League four times and La Liga once with Real Madrid

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is “very close to leaving” the Spanish club, says boss Zinedine Zidane.

The Wales international, 30, was left out of Real’s 3-1 pre-season defeat by Bayern Munich in Houston, USA.

Speaking after the game, Zidane said: “We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.

“I have nothing personal against him – but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done.”

Bale – who has three years left on his Real contract – has won the Champions League four times since his £85m move to Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 – a world record deal at the time.

He played 42 games for Los Blancos last season, half of those as a substitute, and injury problems have limited the Welshman to 79 La Liga appearances in the past four campaigns.

Bale was booed by home supporters at times last season, though his agent said in March the player was “very happy” and wanted to “play all his career” at the Bernabeu club.

“I have to make decisions. We have to change,” Zidane added. “The exit is the coach’s decision, and also of the player, who knows the situation.

“The situation will change, I do not know if in 24 or 48 hours, but it will, and it’s a good thing for everyone.”

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