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Osasuna v Real Madrid: Gareth Bale set to return

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Gareth Bale has only appeared twice for Real Madrid in 2020

Gareth Bale could feature for Real Madrid for the first time in five games after he was named in their squad for Sunday’s match against Osasuna.

The Wales forward, 30, has not played for Los Blancos since he came off with an ankle sprain against Unionistas de Salamanca on 22 January.

He has since missed games against Real Valladolid, Real Zaragoza, Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.

Bale had been fit for the last three fixtures but was not selected.

Despite his recent absence, Real manager Zinedine Zidane says he has no problems with how Bale has been training.

“Gareth is here and I am happy with all the players I have,” he said.

“I know the answer you’re looking for but I have 25 players and I have to choose. There are no issues or problems. I am sure Gareth is going to keep working as he has been.

“There are times when he isn’t named in the squad but I wouldn’t read too much into it. Everyone has a role and Gareth is a player I will need between now and the end of the season.

“We talk regularly but I am not going to tell you what I tell my players in private. We know what he can bring to the team and he has to be fit and ready so he is in the best shape to play.”

Amid reports that Tottenham were in talks with Real over a deadline-day move for Bale, Zidane insisted Bale was part of his plans, despite leaving the Welshman out of his squad for the Madrid derby on 1 February.

Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett had previously said it was “ridiculous” to suggest “one of the best players in the world” would leave Real on loan in the January transfer window, adding it is “unlikely” Bale would leave the Bernabeu this summer.

Madrid will look to extend their lead at the top of La Liga in Sunday’s game at Osasuna – they currently lead second-placed Barcelona, who face Real Betis on Sunday, by three points.

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