Real Madrid's Bale to miss Tottenham reunion in Audi Cup

By Sports Desk July 29, 2019

Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid's Audi Cup squad following the collapse of his move to the Chinese Super League.

The Wales international looked set to join Jiangsu Suning after his relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane appeared to have broken beyond repair.

That deal fell through on Sunday, however, with Madrid's board reportedly unhappy at the lack of transfer fee involved, while some outlets suggested Bale pulled out over family concerns regarding the move to China. 

Bale was in pre-season training with Madrid on Monday but worked away from the rest of the squad, while agent Jonathan Barnett confirmed he is likely to remain at the club for the 2019-20 campaign.

Zidane has left him out of the squad for the tournament in Munich, though, which means a reunion with former club – and potential suitors – Tottenham on Tuesday has been scuppered.

There is no place in the squad for Thibaut Courtois either, with Los Blancos confirming he has suffered a grade two ankle sprain.

Belgium international Courtois played the first half of his side's 7-3 International Champions Cup thumping by city rivals Atletico Madrid on Friday.

He was replaced at half-time by Keylor Navas, who was Courtois' understudy for much of last season, having previously helped the club to win three consecutive Champions League titles.

The Costa Rica international only made 10 LaLiga starts for the club in the 2018-19 campaign, but with no timescale put on Courtois' return he will hope to stake a permanent claim for the number one spot.

Eder Militao, Casemiro and James Rodriguez also miss the trip to Munich having begun their pre-season preparations on Monday.

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    Dembele was sent off in the closing minutes of Barca's 4-0 LaLiga win over Sevilla this month following a confrontation with referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, who had just given debutant Ronald Araujo a red card for a foul on Javier Hernandez.

    Barcelona's initial appeal against Dembele's red card was dismissed and he was ruled out of the club's next two league matches.

    With the France forward seemingly set to miss the Clasico against Real Madrid, which had been scheduled for October 26, Barca then attempted to have his ban halved.

    Their efforts proved in vain but Dembele will now be available for the first LaLiga Clasico of the season, with the fixture having been postponed due to safety concerns amid the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

    Instead, the former Borussia Dortmund star will miss Saturday's match against Eibar and the meeting with Real Valladolid a week on Tuesday.

    The Camp Nou Clasico appears set to be played on December 18 after both Barca and Madrid proposed the date on Friday.

    Dembele has made three league appearances for Barca this season, scoring once - against Sevilla.

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    The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Friday that it had postponed the match at Camp Nou due to safety concerns amid the ongoing political tensions and protests in Catalonia.

    Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

    A rally in the city has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, the day Barca were due to host Madrid, prompting the RFEF to intervene.

    The Competition Committee has told the two clubs to agree to a revised date for the game before next Monday and Barca suggested December 18 as the best option.

    In a statement released later on Friday, Madrid said: "In light of the Competition Committee ruling which postpones the match scheduled to be played on Saturday October 26 between Barcelona and Real Madrid, and states the clubs must agree a new date for the fixture, Real Madrid wishes to communicate that the date proposed by both said clubs is December 18."

    Speaking earlier, head coach Zinedine Zidane said he was prepared to adapt to any plans to reschedule the fixture.

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    Barca and Madrid are also playing their final Champions League group games, away to Inter and Club Brugge respectively, within four days after December 7.

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