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Sources: Bale not set for shock Spurs return

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Published in Soccer
Friday, 31 January 2020 02:42

Gareth Bale will not make a shock return to Tottenham, sources have told ESPN, while Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said he is "counting on" the forward between now and the end of the season.

"Gareth is with us," Zidane said in a news conference on Friday ahead of the derby with Atletico Madrid in La Liga on Saturday. "I'm counting on him. I'm not contemplating that possibility."

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Bale picked up an ankle injury in a cup game on Jan. 22 -- when he scored his first club goal since September -- and has missed Real Madrid's last two matches, against Real Valladolid and Real Zaragoza.

He took part in full training with his teammates at the club's Valdebebas training base on Friday morning and is available for the Madrid derby.

ESPN has approached Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett -- who told us earlier this month that Bale was "going nowhere" in January and a summer move was "very unlikely" -- for comment.

He has a contract at Real Madrid until 2022.

In December, Barnett admitted Bale is "not ecstatic" at the club, where he has endured a turbulent, injury-hit season including being booed by the Bernabeu crowd after his "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" flag celebration.

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