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Unwanted: Real Madrid's Gareth Bale

Football

Bale left out by Zidane for Man City test

MADRID, Spain, Aug 5Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid’s squad for their Champions League last 16 second leg against Manchester City on Friday.

Zinedine Zidane named 24 players on Wednesday for the trip to Manchester, where Madrid are aiming to overturn a 2-1 first-leg defeat to reach the quarter-finals.

Sergio Ramos will travel with the squad, Madrid confirmed, despite being suspended for the fixture.

Bale, 31, was not on the list, adding another low-point to a turbulent season for the Welshman, who has hardly featured for Madrid this year.

Despite Madrid storming to the La Liga title, Bale made only two appearances during the 11 games after La Liga resumed, one of them from the start.

He was pictured standing away from the team’s celebrations with Zidane after their league success was confirmed and had caused a stir by pretending to be asleep during Madrid’s game against Alaves.

Zidane’s decision to omit Bale completely from the squad to face City is another clear indication the Frenchman would prefer to be rid of Bale and his 18-million euro salary this summer.

But interested clubs are likely to be put off by the finances involved while Bale and his representatives insist he is happy to see out his Madrid contract, which expires in 2022.

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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 protocol will 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.

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