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Bale saga continues

Welcome again to Mirror Football's coverage of tonight's last-16 clash.

As his teammates prepare for one of the biggest games of the season, yet more drama is unfolding around Gareth Bale.

The Welshman has been seen playing golf back in Madrid in news which could further sour his relationship with Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane.

Read more here and stay tuned as we await team news shortly...

Welcome!

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale chose not be involved in Friday’s Champions League clash against Manchester City.

Wales international Bale has fallen out of favour at the Bernabeu and featured little in the new Spanish champions’ title-winning run-in.

The 31-year-old’s omission from Real’s travelling party for the last-16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium this week further fuelled speculation over his future, but Zidane says that was the player’s own choice.

Speaking at a press conference, Zidane said: “It was a personal conversation I had with him. He preferred not to play. The rest remains between me and him but he said he didn’t want to play.”

Zidane was pressed further on the matter but refused to elaborate.

“I answered before to explain the situation and I don’t want to add anything else,” he said. “The rest is a private conversation between player and coach. There is nothing else to add.”

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