New Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti says he still has “a lot of love” for Gareth Bale amid intense speculation surrounding his future.
The Wales star is currently on loan with Tottenham after falling out of favour in the Spanish capital under previous boss Zinedine Zidane.
Relations became so frosty that 31-year-old Bale decided on a return to former club Spurs last September in order to get minutes under his belt ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
Things didn’t go entirely to plan, however, with former manager Jose Mourinho using Bale sparingly over the course of the season, before Ryan Mason took over the reins for the campaign run-in.
Rumours of retirement have swirled in recent weeks – with Bale himself refusing to rule it out – but Ancelotti’s return to the Bernabeu could change things again for the Welshman, with the Italian hinting the attacker has a role to play under his stewardship.
“I have a lot of love still for Gareth, Isco, Marcelo… they will have motivation to show they can still play for Real Madrid,” Ancelotti said at his press conference this afternoon.
“Gareth has not played much in the Premier League, but he scored lots of goals, was very effective in recent games when he had chance to play.
“He is coming back, I know him very well, he will be motivated to play better and have a great season, no doubt.”
Bale himself remained tight lipped when quizzed about his future this week.
“Obviously there’s been a lot of things written about whether I’m doing this and doing that,” he said.
“For me, the main thing is I don’t want to say anything that’s going to cause more chaos or more drama or cause a distraction. I just want to focus on this Euros.
“I don’t want to say anything that is going to cause any problems on what I am doing or what I am not doing. My focus is just on the Euros.
“When the Euros finishes for us then I will sit down and decide what I want to do.”