Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has suggested that Gareth Bale could remain with the club beyond the summer transfer window. The Wales international’s future at the Bernabeu had been placed in doubt earlier this month after Zidane acknowledged that the club are looking into the possible sale of the attacker.

However, Bale has since won over the manager with a couple of strong performances including one during the season opener at Celta Vigo. As such, Zidane has admitted that the Welshman may stay put with the club and appreciated his defensive work during the curtain raiser, where Los Blancos were down to 10 men for the final 30 minutes of the game, he said: “We have spoken about it two or three times before, that he is going stay. All the players we have now we are thinking will be here for the season. I salute the effort of all the players, the defensive work of Gareth and Vinicius (Junior) was very important.”

Bale was a surprise starter for the opening league game at Celta and he made an instant impression by laying the assist for Karim Benzema’s opener. Thereafter, he was a regular attacking presence for the former European champions before contributing towards the defensive work when Luka Modric was sent off at the hour mark.

With the opening day triumph, Los Blancos see themselves at the top of the league table with a three-point advantage over Barcelona, who succumbed to a shock defeat at Athletic Bilbao. Eden Hazard was the most notable absence with a thigh strain but reports suggest that the attacker could make a quick recovery to feature against Villarreal before the international break. Meanwhile, Los Blancos have another fortnight of the transfer window left and it remains to be seen whether they are prepared to extend the spending spree which has already exceeded £250m.