Bale made a minimal impact from the bench on Sunday in Los Blancos’ 3-1 win over Eibar in LaLiga, and then missed training with a knock on Monday.

Marca led in their Tuesday edition with a front-page story claiming that the relationship of the pair was ‘broken.’ But Zidane said on Wednesday said: “The relationship has always been good.” If he doesn’t play, it seems that’s because we don’t have a good relationship. I very much admire what Bale did and I can not influence what you (journalists) write, but the relationship is natural.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has insisted that his relationship with Gareth Bale is “normal” after fresh reports of a breakdown in communication with the Welsh winger.

Asked how the player had been after missing the session on Monday, Zidane said: “He is like he is always. He is pleased to have the opportunity to play. He had a little pain in his back and maybe that’s why he wasn’t quite right. We ‘re all focused on playing the game tomorrow.”

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Another player not in Zidane ‘s plans is James Rodriguez, who hasn’t made it off the bench against Eibar despite the five substitutions allowed. When asked about it, the Frenchman said:

“I can count on him and he’s well educated. Let’s see when he will practice. There’s a lot of potentials here among the players, it’s true he didn’t play a lot.”

Both Bale and James now have more competition since Eden Hazard and Zidane returned from injury, saying: “I am happy with him. He is glad to be playing back. That coronavirus-related break allowed him to return. The bond with Karim Benzema. I am not going to say anything more. We need to take advantage of that.’ Madrid is home to Valencia on Friday night and you need a win to catch up to Barcelona at the top of the table within two points.”

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