Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid’s 24-man Champions League squad for Friday’s last-16 tie at Manchester City.

Bale last played for Madrid in June when they beat Mallorca 2-0 and did not feature in their final seven league matches as they pipped Barcelona to the Spanish title while he watched from the bench.

The forward, who has scored more than 100 goals for Madrid since his record-breaking move in 2013, has endured his worst season at the club with only three goals in all competitions.

The Welshman has a contract until 2022 and was set to make a lucrative move to the Chinese Super League last year before the transfer was scuttled when Madrid made a last-minute decision to insist on a fee rather than terminate his contract.

Bale has since divided opinion among the club’s fanbase and his poor injury record has not helped his cause. His agent says Bale will not leave despite falling down the pecking order in Zidane’s team.

The midfielder James Rodríguez has not been called up either and the forward Mariano Diaz will miss the trip after he tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The captain Sergio Ramos is ineligible after he was sent off in the 2-1 loss in the first leg but the club confirmed the defender would travel with the squad.


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