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Giggs hopes to have Bale available in China

The final match in the China Cup takes place the week before the Champions League quarter-finals.

Ryan Giggs visited Gareth Bale in Madrid last week and remains keen to have Wales’ star turn at the China Cup next month.

New boss Giggs will take charge of his national team for the first time in Asia at a tournament that also features China, Uruguay and Czech Republic.

It is understood Wales will receive a greater fee for their participation should their top players make the 12,000-mile round trip, though the final fixtures will take place the week before the Champions League quarter-finals, which Bale’s club Real Madrid could be involved in.

Against a backdrop of constant speculation about Bale’s long-term future, Giggs, who was speaking on the eve of the Laureus World Sports Awards, conceded the 28-year-old was frustrated at his lack of recent playing time but revealed he is upbeat about the national team’s trip to China.

“Unfortunately he wasn’t starting but I got good time to chat to him,” Giggs said.

“He’s fit and looking really good. He made an impact when he came on against PSG.

“Everyone in Wales knows how important Gareth is. A fit and well Gareth Bale makes such a difference.

“(The speculation about his future) doesn’t concern me, he’s at a brilliant club. When you’re at a top club, as I know, you’re constantly under scrutiny. I went to see him and he was happy.

“He wasn’t happy he didn’t start but the next few games he started. Everybody knows a how important a fit Gareth Bale is. He was really positive about the first trip (to China).

“It’s a difficult time of the season, I recognise that with players in the Champions League and players going for trophies, players trying to fight relegation.

“Ideally I want everyone there. We’re constantly monitoring the lads carrying knocks and we won’t take any chances, but ideally I want everyone I pick to come.”

Aaron Ramsey is another that Giggs would like in the Far East, though he has battled injury problems like Bale.

Giggs also spoke of Ramsey’s contract situation as the Arsenal midfielder’s deal is thought to run out in 2019.

The 27-year-old has spent a decade in north London and Giggs, a one-club man with Manchester United, has told Ramsey such longevity is important.

“He’s at a good club,” Giggs added.

“From a personal point of view, when you’re at a club you’re used to, it can help you. You know all the staff and the players.

“So any player who is having talks with contracts, you want it sorted out as quickly as possible.

“I was always happy. There was always a challenge at United so I never saw any reason to leave. I was happy playing my football. I never got bored or felt the need to go anywhere else.

“I hope Aaron sorts it out sooner rather than later.”

– The Laureus World Sports Awards highlight sporting excellence and recognise those who use sport to change lives for the better. For more information, head to www.laureus.com/awards

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