MADRID – Gareth Bale is unavailable for Real Madrid’s Champions League clash at home to Galatasaray on Wednesday due to injury even though he has been called into the Wales squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers, coach Zinedine Zidane has said.
Bale has not featured for Real since getting injured after Wales 1-1 draw with Croatia on Oct. 13 but on Tuesday was included in Ryan Giggs’ squad for their crucial qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary.
Real have not released any medical information on Bale’s latest injury.
"We’ll see how he is at the end of the week and we’ll see if he’s able to go with his national team or not. Right now, he isn’t ready," Zidane told a news conference ahead of his side’s Group A match with the Turkish champions.
"Wales have the right to call him up and the player wants to be fit, there’s no doubting that."
Giggs said he hoped Bale would feature for his club at Eibar on Saturday before reporting for Wales duty. However, Zidane said the player, who signed for Real for a then world record fee of 100 million euros ($111.03 million) in 2013, was not close to full fitness.
"What we want is for the player to be fit and the problem is right now he isn’t ready nor able to complete full training," Zidane added.
The Frenchman has previously acknowledged his willingness to part company with Bale and in July he said "if he can leave tomorrow, so much the better".
But he offered Bale sympathy for his long-running injury troubles, adding that he hopes the 30-year-old will remain at the club until next June at least.
"I can tell our fans that the player who suffers the most in a situation like this is the player. He wants to be with us. He has got injured, he has returned here and he has not recovered, but he wants to recover, he wants to play," Zidane said.
"People are saying that I don’t like Bale, that I want him to leave in January, but that’s nonsense, I want him to stay until the end of the season."
The 13-times European champions made a difficult start to their Champions League campaign but two weeks ago moved up to second in Group A on four points after winning 1-0 at Galatasaray, who are bottom with one.
Paris St Germain, who lead the standings with nine points after three games, host Club Bruges on Wednesday.