Bale returns, Zidane quiet on Neymar

MADRID:Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale played for the first time in four pre-season matches on Sunday to suggest he could yet regain his place under coach Zinedine Zidane.

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Madrid, August 12 

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale played for the first time in four pre-season matches on Sunday to suggest he could yet regain his place under coach Zinedine Zidane. Bale came off the bench as Madrid drew 2-2 against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico, before losing the friendly on penalties.

After the game, Zidane was also asked about a possible move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar but he refused to address the issue.

It was Madrid’s seventh and final warm-up fixture ahead of the start of La Liga next weekend but Bale has only played three of those, and each time as a substitute.

James Rodriguez, who has also been expected to leave Madrid this summer, was not even named on the bench against Roma. “Bale and James are players of Real Madrid,” Zidane said afterwards. “Anything can happen until August 31 but we are counting on all the players.”

On a potential move for Neymar, who is reportedly keen to leave PSG and could rejoin Barcelona, Zidane said: “We are here with the squad that we have and we are only thinking about that.”

Neto injured in training

Barcelona’s back-up goalkeeper Neto is a doubt for the start of the season after the club announced on Sunday he has injured his left wrist. Neto is unlikely to be fit for Barca’s opening La Liga game away to Athletic Bilbao on Friday. 

Liverpool keeper Alisson out for ‘next few weeks’

London: Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been ruled out for “the next few weeks” by boss Jurgen Klopp after suffering a calf injury in the 4-1 win over Norwich. Alisson limped off in the first half of Liverpool’s Premier League opener at Anfield on Friday.

Klopp revealed today that he does not expect the 26-year-old Brazil international to be available for several weeks. “Not too cool. It’s a calf injury which takes him obviously out for a while,” Klopp said. — Agencies

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