Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was not impressed when a journalist questioned his relationship with Gareth Bale, suggesting the media were trying to divide the squad.
The Welshman has endured a tumultuous time since the season restart, appearing in just two La Liga matches out of a possible eight amid rumours Zidane does not count on him and would be keen to offload him this summer.
Bale has also been criticised for his behaviour in the stands when not picked to play, pulling his face mask over his eyes and pretending to be asleep during a match against Alaves and then making a binoculars gesture against Granada.
Zidane insisted at the time he had ‘no complaints’ about Bale’s antics, though at his latest Zoom press conference it was suggested that his conduct might be having an effect on the dressing room.
The French manager did not take kindly to the line of questioning and defended Bale, insisting he is entirely focused on winning La Liga – just like the rest of the squad.
‘My God, what a question, man!’ replied an agitated Zidane.
‘We think about tomorrow’s game, and Gareth the same. He is one of us.
‘You try to put things between us but you won’t be able to. Every day you ask the same.
‘You can, you have the right to ask. But everyone here is united.
‘We all think the same way, Gareth, James [Rodriguez], everyone here. We all want the same thing.’
Real Madrid have enjoyed a nine-game winning run in La Liga and are now just one win away from securing the title, which they can do against Villarreal on Thursday evening.
Zidane will have Eden Hazard to call on, with the Belgian club-record signing shaking off a knock, with the Real boss saying: ‘He’s better. He’s fine. He isn’t affected now by the discomfort he had a few days ago. That’s good for us. It’s important that Eden is totally well.’
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