Giggs tells Bale he needs ‘more minutes’ amid renewed speculation of Real Madrid exit

Gareth Bale, WalesGetty

Ryan Giggs admits that Gareth Bale needs to find “more minutes” in order to perform at his peak, with the Wales international once again being linked with a move away from Real Madrid.

The 31-year-old remains a key man for his country and will be called upon whenever he is fit.

Bale was, however, able to last just 45 minutes of Wales’ UEFA Nations League opener against Finland as he lacks full match sharpness.

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That is due to being frozen out of the fold at club level, with Zinedine Zidane having dropped the former Tottenham star down the pecking order at Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale has left the door open for a switch to be made in the current transfer window, with a Premier League return not being ruled out, and Giggs would like to see his talisman find a regular role somewhere.

The Wales boss told reporters: “With his situation, it doesn't change. I'm always happy with Gareth when he comes here. He's great around the camp and is one everyone looks up to.

“Like anyone else he needs to get more training time and more minutes.

“I was pleased with Gareth the other night that he was able to get 45 minutes under his belt. He'd only done two or three days training. Finland are a physical team of giants and made it difficult for us so he'll be all the better for that 45 minutes.”

Bale will be hoping to figure again when Wales face Bulgaria on Sunday.

Liverpool youngster Neco Williams is also pushing hard for a start in that fixture, with Giggs admitting that the 19-year-old right-back’s showing off the bench against Finland has given him food for thought.

The Manchester United legend added: “It was a fantastic debut from Neco.

“He came on and gave us real energy and he's shown his quality in training. He's definitely given me a problem [with selection]. It's a good problem to have.

“We're really happy with Neco and he's in my thoughts with regards to starting.”

Williams is also counting down the days to the start of Liverpool’s title defence in the Premier League, as they prepare to open the 2020-21 campaign at home to Leeds on September 12, but it remains to be seen whether Bale will be joining him in the English top-flight before the next transfer deadline passes on October 5.