Zinedine Zidane has performed a U-turn over his stance on Gareth Bale by insisting that the Welshman would be part of his Real Madrid squad this season.
The Los Blancos boss made it clear over the summer that Bale was surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu as he sought to integrate younger talents like Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo into the side.
Bale was on the verge of completing a transfer to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning this summer, but the move fell through after Real demanded a transfer fee of £20m.
Speaking to The Mirror after Real's pre-season meeting with Roma, Zidane stressed that, following Bale's collapsed move to China, the winger would still somewhat figure in his plans over the next nine months.
"James and Bale are players of the squad," he said.
"They are both registered, but anything can happen and I, as a coach of Real Madrid, must count on them."
"I count on them 100 per cent. James has not been summoned [to the squad recently], but this can change. Even before the end of the transfer window, everything can happen."
Bale is said to be happy in Spain, where his family is settled, and wants to fight for his place at Real despite his manager's disinclination to use him.
Recent reports have suggested that the La Liga side, turning their attention towards signing Neymar, were willing to offer Bale in a cash-plus-player deal for the Br azilian.