Carlo Ancelotti has denied that Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is carrying an injury but instead revealed that the Welshman is 'not well'.
Bale hasn't been seen since the third game of the season on 28 August, during which he picked up a knee injury which forced him into a lengthy period on the sidelines.
A calf injury and a spell out with Covid-19 followed, but Bale is believed to have recovered from both and he had been expected to feature in Real's Copa del Rey third-round tie against Alcoyano on Wednesday, but Ancelotti has ruled that out.
Explaining his decision, the coach said (via AS): "Bale is not injured, but he is not well. He is doing specific work. We have to do everything possible so that he is well. If he is not well, he is afraid of having a problem, we have to evaluate it."
Ancelotti did predict that Bale could return against Valencia at the weekend or in next week's Supercopa semi-final against Barcelona, but that will all come down to whether he can get back in training beforehand.
However, the boss made a point of making sure to clarify that he does not believe Bale's extended absence has anything to do with his expiring contract.
"Bale has a commitment because he has a six-month contract and wants to respect it," he said.
Finally, Ancelotti confirmed that there are no plans to sell Bale or any of Real's fringe players in the January transfer window.
"We aren't thinking about letting players go. Primarily because nobody has asked to leave," he said.
I have no problem with any of [the squad] and everyone is training well. I don't think there will be any departures in the January market."