While James Rodríguez and Mariano Díaz were left out once again, there was an unexpected recall to the squad for Gareth Bale as Real Madrid took on Roma on Sunday night. Indeed, Bale's inclusion in the travelling party came as a surprise even to the player himself, a source close to the 30-year-old has told AS.
The question is: why did Zidane bring him back into the fold? Change of plans? The answer, according to the same source, will come as a disappointment to those who feel Bale still has something to offer the team and should stay at the Santiago Bernabéu - particularly if the alternative is to let him leave on a free transfer.
"Has Gareth Bale been given a clean slate under Zidane? No, his situation at Real Madrid hasn't changed; nor will it," AS was told, in comments that again lay bare the breakdown in relations between player and coach. The LaLiga club certainly haven't sat down with Bale to tell him he's now back in their plans, at least.