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Madrid will travel to Manchester on Friday to try and overcome a 2-1 deficit against Pep Guardiola's side but preperation has been far for ideal, with Bale's omission from the squad becoming a big talking point in the build-up.
Zidane opened up about the situation in a press conference on Thursday, saying:
"I'll explain, Bale? In the end many things are said and we have a respectful relationship between us. It is a private conversation, but I can only tell you that he preferred not to play and the rest is between him and me.
"I'm not disappointed, I respect him. Bale didn't disappoint me. I'm not going to tell you anything. It's the third question about Gareth, I just said what happened.
"I have a lot of respect for Gareth and things should be inside the locker room between the players and the coach."
Zidane's explanation was believed to be accurate, with Bale asking to be left out of the travelling squad, but only because he knew he would not play in Manchester after been 'ostracised' in recent weeks, according to The Evening Standard.
Bale, who did not feature once in the club's last seven league games, has only played 100 minutes of first team football since the restart.
The report also claims the thought of being a spare part again at The Etihad this evening was enough for the Welshman to not want to feature and, in order to avoid another 90 minutes watching from the sidelines, he asked to be left out all together.
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero believes the Welshman is willing to leave the Bernabeu - but only if he can return to England.
"We have to remember that in the last nine games in La Liga, Zinedine Zidane only counted on Gareth Bale for one game," he told Sky Sports.
"One year ago, I was in Washington with Zidane, the day he said it's better for him [Bale] to go today, better than tomorrow.
"The truth is there was only one option - China [Jiangsu Suning tried to sign Bale last summer]. He didn't want to go to China.
"He wants to return to the Premier League, but he earns €70 million on his deal at Real Madrid.
"There's no club in the world, after a player that has been two seasons without playing more or less, who can pay for that. It's a lot of money.
"So, I think it's going to be a tricky situation but I am afraid he's going to stay at Real Madrid."
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