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Bale returns to Real Madrid squad for Roma friendly despite uncertainty over future

9:48 AM WAT 11/08/2019
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2019-20
The forward's future at the club has been up in the air following the breakdown of a move to China, but he is back in Zinedine Zidane's squad

Gareth Bale has been included in Real Madrid's squad for their friendly against Roma on Sunday, despite uncertainty over the forward's future at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Wales international was on the verge of leaving the club this summer in a lucrative £1 million-a-week switch to Jiangsu Suning, but the move broke down and it remains unclear where he will play this season.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to see the 30-year-old move on and his pronouncements on the matter drew stinging criticism from the player's agent.

With a bitter stand-off ensuing, Bale was subsequently omitted from a number of Real Madrid squads this pre-season.

He has featured in just two of Los Blancos' six warm-up friendly matches thus far - against Arsenal and Atletico Madrid in July.

However, his inclusion in Zidane's 20-man squad for the club's final pre-season fixture ahead of their La Liga opener could potentially signal a change of circumstances, with a stay in the Spanish capital still a possibility.

Bale joins Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Karim Benzema among the forwards for the Roma game, and faces plenty of competition for a place in the team.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Isco have been included in a strong squad, as have Marcelo and Raphael Varane.

Keylor Navas and Thibaut Courtois, meanwhile, will continue to fight it out for the number one jersey.

James Rodriguez, who has been linked with Napoli and Atletico Madrid is out, however, as is forward Mariano Diaz after losing his number seven shirt to Hazard.

Club captain Sergio Ramos, meanwile, is also absent, while goalkeeper Andriy Lunin remains in Madrid.

Real Madrid take on Roma at Stadio Olimpico in their last pre-season friendly, with kick-off scheduled for 7pm BST (2pm ET).

They will then turn their attentions towards Celta Vigo, who host them on August 17 in their opening La Liga match of the 2019-20 campaign.

Real Madrid squad for Roma friendly

Goalkeepers: Navas, Courtois, Fuidias

Defenders: Carvajal, Militao, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola

Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Isco

Forwards: Hazard, Benzema, Bale, Vazquez, Jovic, Vinicius Jr.