New Real Madrid boss Zidane insists Bale is crucial to his team
Zinedine Zidane has moved to reassure Gareth Bale that he will remain a key part of the club's long-term future as he staged his first press conference as Real Madrid boss.
Reports have suggested that Bale could consider leaving Real Madrid after the demise of Benitez on Monday, with Manchester United against being linked with a move to sign the Welsh winger.
Yet the player who was bought by Real Madrid for a world record £86m in the summer of 2013 will not be allowed to leave in this month's transfer window and remains a vital cog in the club's long-term plans according to Zidane.
"I understand Gareth might be upset with Rafa leaving, but he will get same affection and support from me as from Rafa," stated Zidane.
“He is an important player and a key player for the squad. He’s phenomenal and we’re going to give him all the care and support he needs.”
Even though the Real Madrid's attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Bale did not do enough to save Benitez from the sack, his successor has vowed to continue deploying all three in an attack minded line-up.
French World Cup winner Zidane also dismissed suggestions that his lack of experience as a manager means he is not qualified for the role he has just taken up.
"For me it is very simple, I'm very happy to be here," he told a press conference. "I have clear targets and I'm going to do everything I can to reach those targets.
"Good football has always been important at this place, and I am going to continue that. It has to be offensive football, balanced, and nothing else.
"I have seen a team that is focused, happy and switched on and we're all happy.
"To win is essential at this club. We are in the last 16, and the target always is to win the Champions League and I will try to make that possible.
"I've got good feelings, but I have to say never is a coach fully prepared, especially a coach who has never managed at this level before, but I feel kind of prepared. I have motivation and hope and all that will help me."