Zinedine Zidane stopped short of offering a guarantee that Gareth Bale will be at Real Madrid next season as the European champions prepared to face Huesca at the Bernabeu.
Bale scored as Real beat Celta Vigo 2-0 in Zidane’s first game since returning to the helm, but it wasn’t enough to dispel memories of the difficult relationship the two struggled with during the manager’s first spell at the club.
The 29 year-old scored twice in the Kyiv final against Liverpool as Real collected a third consecutive Champions League title under Zidane in June 2018, but has come under fire this season for failing to up his game following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.
And the manager wasn’t prepared to give assurances that the former Tottenham man has a future in the Spanish capital when pressed on the matter of next season.
“We are going to play these 10 games and then we will see,” he said when asked about Bale.
“I will not talk about next season, we have 10 games left. Gareth is an important member of the squad, we know what he has done here, especially in the Champions League finals.
“Nobody can take away what he has done. We know he can bring a lot to the team and we will count on him.”
Bale has scored 14 goals for Real this season as the European champions have floundered badly both domestically and in Europe.
The team are long since out of the La Liga title race having made a disastrous start to the season under former boss Julen Lopetegui, who was promptly sacked from his job in October.
His replacement, Santiago Solari, oversaw an improvement in the team’s domestic form, before they were dumped out of the Champions League in a humiliating 4-1 home defeat by Ajax last month. Solari was sacked days later.