Zinedine Zidane has defended himself against accusations of disrespect towards Gareth Bale.
The French head coach, who was reappointed at Real in March, made it clear during a weekend press conference that he wished to offload the Welsh star, saying he wanted him gone ‘tomorrow’.
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, subsequently retaliated and accused the three-time Champions League-winning boss of ‘disgraceful’ behaviour.
The 47-year-old World Cup winner, though, said he was just stating the facts.
"I haven't shown a lack of respect towards anyone," Zidane said. "What I said the other day is that the club was working on Bale's exit.
"I've always said the same thing: the players are the most important ones in all of this. Whenever there's a player involved, I'll always back them."
The France icon’s first two-and-a-half-year spell at the Bernabeu was a successful one, resulting in two Champions League triumphs.
Rumours of his displeasure at Bale had been spread during that time, with his departure last year seen as a possible way for the winger to rebuild his Real career.
But upon his return, Zidane wasted little time in sidelining Bale while bringing in a raft of new names, including Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Luka Jovic.
"The club is doing what it has to and that's all there is to it,” he added. “Bale is currently part of the squad and I respect that.
“That's the most important thing for me."
He has been linked with a move to China, with two Super League clubs said to be interested in the forward - with a mooted £20m ‘welcome’ fee used to entice him.
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