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Gareth Bale to return for Real Madrid’s season finale

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Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Gareth Bale has been recalled into the Real Madrid squad ahead of their final game of the season.

Bale’s last appearance in a Real jersey came in a 1-0 defeat at Rayo Vallecano on April 28 after he was dropped from their last two matchday squads.

Without the Wales star, Los Blancos beat Villarreal 3-2 before falling to a humbling 3-1 loss at Real Sociedad last weekend.

This latest turn of events has fueled rumours in Spain that Bale’s six-year stay at the Santiago Bernabeu will come to an end this summer as Zidane prepares to make big changes in the upcoming transfer window.

The 29-year-old’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has already stated he’s “not sure that Mr Zidane wants him to stay”.

And now the Frenchman has recalled Bale for Sunday’s La Liga finale against Real Betis in what could be his last match for Los Merengues.

“He’ll be part of the squad tomorrow and that’s all I can tell you. You’ll see the side that we put out. I don’t know whether this will be his last game,” said Real boss Zidane on the club’s website.

“We’re at the end of the season and next year there’ll be changes, but I don’t know whether this will be his last game or not.”

MADRID, SPAIN – JANUARY 09: Hat trick scorer Gareth Bale of Real Madrid shakes hands with Zinedine Zidane manager of Real Madrid as he is substituted during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 9, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

While a third-place finish in La Liga is already confirmed, Zidane is determined to see his men finish the season strongly against Betis. Real have only won twice in their last six matches.

“The message is clear. Tomorrow’s is the last game of the season and we’ve had a good final week’s work to now go and end the season on a high,” said the 46-year-old.

“We want to sign off with a good performance and a win in front of our fans. It’s been a tough year and I want to let everyone know that we’re focused on next season and will come back full of hope and put in the hard work so as to make them proud of our players”.

“We performed poorly against Real Sociedad, although it wasn’t a poor performance throughout because we made a strong start.

“We’ve got a game tomorrow where we’ve got the chance to finish on a high and to make the fans proud of us. This club wins a lot of silverware and it’s tough when you don’t win anything.”

SEVILLE, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 07: Joaquin Sanchez of Real Betis celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Copa del Semi Final first leg match between Real Betis and Valencia at Estadio Benito Villamarin on February 07, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Sunday’s opponents Betis have also suffered a disastrous run of form themselves, with nine defeats in their last 15 matches across all competitions.

This run of form saw Los Verdiblancos lose their Copa del Rey semi-final tie to Valencia and fall outside of the top-10 in La Liga.

This has led to doubts over Quique Setien’s future, who has been subjected to jeers by his Betis’ own supporters over the past few months.

Zidane added: “We’ve got to put in a good display tomorrow and give a good account of ourselves against a Betis side who’ll also want to sign off for the season with a good performance, despite the fact that there’s nothing at stake for them.”

The Real Madrid and Real Betis match will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu, with kick-off set for 12:00 (CET).