Gareth Bale returns for Real Madrid’s clash with AS Roma

Zinedine Zidane has recalled Gareth Bale for Real Madrid’s final pre-season friendly at AS Roma in Italy tonight.

The upcoming clash at the Olympic Stadium will be the first time Bale will be in the Real squad for three matches. In fact, he’s last appearance in the famous white jersey came in the 7-3 International Champions Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid on July 27.

Zidane had expected to finally see the back of Bale last month as the winger closed in on a move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning. The Real manager even told reporters that “we hope he leaves soon”.

But Los Blancos ultimately called off a deal at the last minute amid rumours Jiangsu Suning didn’t offer enough money. It effectively ended Zidane’s hopes of selling the Wales star.

Following that embarrassing saga, Bale has missed Real’s last three friendlies against Tottenham, Fenerbahce and RB Salzburg.

However, the Spanish giants have included the former Spurs star in their 20-man squad list for the Roma match. He joins fellow forwards Karim Benzema, Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard, Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior.

James Rodriguez, on the other hand, will continue to remain sidelined as he tries to resolve his future. So far, it seems like the 28-year-old is destined for a move to either Serie A giants Napoli or Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Despite taking the No.16 jersey for this season, the Colombian playmaker hasn’t played a single minute of football since returning from a two-year loan stint with Bayern Munich.

Although it seems James’ suffering at the Santiago Bernabeu might not last much longer, with Atletico allegedly confident they will get their man.

Meanwhile, €48m Lyon signing Ferland Mendy will continue to remain on the sidelines for Real. He’s got a hamstring injury and is doubtful for Saturday’s La Liga opener at Celta Vigo.

The Roma and Real Madrid match will start at 20:00 (CET).

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