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Bale unaffected by Real uncertainty


Speculation: Gareth Bale was tipped to move to China this summer
Speculation: Gareth Bale was tipped to move to China this summer

By Phil Blanche

Gareth Bale has broken his silence on his difficult summer at Real Madrid by saying he feels stronger than ever.

Bale looked set to leave Real for a big-money move to China, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute.

The 30-year-old Wales captain admitted the situation was not ideal, but dismissed it as being the most difficult time of his career by saying he recalled "not playing for a year under Harry Redknapp" at Tottenham.

"It didn't impact on me too much," said Bale, speaking about his summer of uncertainty in Madrid.

"I don't listen to them (the critics) because they don't really know what they are on about. I know most people don't know the situation, don't understand the situation.

"Coming back to pre-season, I just kept my head down and worked hard in training. I feel good, probably stronger than ever at the moment.

"The things that happened will stay private with the club. If you want answers, maybe you need to ask Real Madrid.

Bale, speaking ahead of Wales' Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Azerbaijan tonight, was frozen out by Real manager Zinedine Zidane at the end of last season.

Wales are looking to their talisman to revive their Euro 2020 qualification hopes after back-to-back June defeats to Croatia and Hungary.

Bale was out-of-sorts in those games and, asked if he felt more settled now, he replied: "I suppose so... the transfer window is closed now!

"I don't think mentally it affected me at all, but maybe not playing for four, five, six weeks coming into those games, physically, I wasn't where I wanted to be.

"It was a bit frustrating, but those games are over now and we have to forget about them."

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