Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale told him he did not want to play for Real Madrid against Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 on Friday.
Bale was left out of the squad and has not travelled to Manchester, where Madrid were aiming to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in February. Sources close to Bale claim he told Zidane he did not want to travel, after finding out he was not included in the squad, but was ready to play.
"There is a relationship of respect between player and coach," Zidane said in a press conference on Thursday. "He preferred not to play, nothing more, and the rest is between me and him."
Zidane said it was a personal decision but would not be drawn on details, insisting "there are things that have to stay in the changing room". Asked about his future, Zidane said: "Bale is a Real Madrid player, nothing has changed and I respect him like everyone else."