Real Madrid

Gareth Bale included in Real Madrid squad for AC Milan friendly

Jude Summerfield
Bale is back in the fold at Real Madrid
Bale is back in the fold at Real Madrid / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

Gareth Bale has been included in Real Madrid's squad for their pre-season friendly against AC Milan in Austria on Sunday night.

The Welshman had a publically strained relationship with former boss Zinedine Zidane, who often left him on the bench or out of Real's squad. Instead of sitting in the stands last season, Bale spent the campaign on loan at Tottenham in preparation for Euro 2020. He ran into a similarly glum manager in Jose Mourinho, but still ended the 2020/21 term with 16 goals in all competitions.

Gareth Bale
Bale featured at Euro 2020 for Wales / Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

But there's been a change in management in Madrid over the summer. Zidane has left again and Carlo Ancelotti has been brought back. Ancelotti worked well with Bale during the Italian's first stint at the Bernabeu and has backed the 32-year-old to enjoy a positive season.

The early signs for Bale are good, as he's been included in Los Blancos' squad for their pre-season friendly against Serie A giants Milan.

However, there are a few notable absentees. Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema are not listed, and there is the obvious lack of club legends Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, who have left to join Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively.

There are some returning faces following the loss to Rangers, however. Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Luka Modric and Casemiro have all returned for what will be Real's final pre-season game before their La Liga opener against Alaves.

Last season was a difficult one for Real. They won nothing, finishing second in La Liga to Atletico Madrid, exiting the Copa del Rey at the round of 32, and being eliminated by Chelsea in the semi finals of the Champions League.

So far this summer Alaba is the only player to have been brought in, though new contracts have been handed out to defenders Nacho and Dani Carvajal.

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