Gareth Bale: Wales name Real Madrid forward in squad for final Euro 2020 qualifiers

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale was man of the match for Wales in October's 1-1 draw against Croatia
Euro 2020 qualifier: Azerbaijan v Wales
Venue: Bakcell Arena, Baku Date: Saturday, 16 November Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Cymru & updates on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Forward Gareth Bale has been named in Wales' squad for their decisive Euro 2020 qualifiers, despite not playing for Real Madrid since his country's 1-1 draw with Croatia last month.

Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also included after missing October's internationals with injury.

Wales need to win in Azerbaijan on 16 November and then beat Hungary at home to have any chance of qualifying.

They also rely on Slovakia dropping points in their remaining two matches.

Bale finished the 13 October game against Croatia in Cardiff limping, with Wales manager Ryan Giggs confirming the player had suffered a "kick on the calf" during that 1-1 draw.

However, the 30-year-old has not been named in any Real Madrid squad since returning to Spain.

Giggs said he was in "constant contact" with Bale who told him he was confident of being fit in time to play for Wales.

The former Manchester United star also hopes the forward will play a part in Real's La Liga match with Eibar on Saturday, 9 November.

"That's the ideal situation, that he gets minutes before he meets us," he said.

"But it is literally day by day that we're monitoring it, but that's what we're hoping - that he gets some action this weekend."

Asked if he feared it would look bad if Bale played for Wales before playing for Real, Giggs replied: "If he is fit, he is fit, it's as simple as that.

"I don't feel any pressure. He is desperate to play for Wales, but he also wants to play for Real Madrid as well. If he turns up and plays two fantastic games for us that can only be good for Real Madrid."

Back pages on Gareth Bale
Bale is the top story on the Spanish sports newspapers on Tuesday. Marca lead with the headline 'Bale says yes with Wales', while AS' headline is 'Triple bogey: Bale ups tension between him & Real Madrid'.

Bale 'not ready' - Zidane

However, speaking at a media conference after the Wales squad had been announced, Real manager Zinedine Zidane reiterated that he believed Bale was not fit.

"We want him to play well, the problem is at the moment he is not ready and we are assessing it on a day-to-day basis," he said.

"Let's see what happens this week for selection, if he is ready or not. But at the moment the shame is that he is not ready.

"His country's team have called him up and they have a right to call him up, it's a regulation from Fifa, we won't interfere in it.

"I don't know the conversation he has had with his selector, the only thing that interests me is that I want to have Gareth well... I want all of my players to be well you know, and with me and to train and to be available, but at the moment this is not happening with Gareth."

Ramsey 'looks sharp'

Ramsey, 28, has not featured at all for Wales this season because of several long-running fitness concerns.

His last appearance for his country was in November 2018, but he has recently come off the bench in two Serie A games for Juventus.

"I wouldn't say he's 100% match fit, but he looks good and he looks sharp," said Giggs.

"We'll see what he's like when he meets up with us next week and monitor it from there."

FC St Pauli's James Lawrence also returns but Wales will be without fellow defender Joe Rodon, as well as midfielders David Brooks and Jonny Williams, who are all injured.

Joe Allen is suspended for the trip to Azerbaijan, but will be available for the final game against Hungary in Cardiff on 19 November.

Wales boss Giggs has also named two uncapped players in the squad: Manchester United's teenage midfielder Dylan Levitt and former United centre-back Regan Poole.

The 21-year-old MK Dons player was called up as a replacement last month when Chris Mepham withdrew before the 1-1 draw in Slovakia.

Wales squad:

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace), Danny Ward (Leicester), Adam Davies (Stoke).

Defenders: Chris Gunter (Reading), Ashley Williams (Bristol City), Ben Davies (Tottenham), Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Connor Roberts (Swansea), Ethan Ampadu (RB Leipzig), Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), Tom Lockyer (Charlton), James Lawrence (St Pauli), Regan Poole (MK Dons).

Midfielders: Aaron Ramsey (Juventus), Joe Allen (Stoke), Harry Wilson (Bournemouth), Matthew Smith (QPR), Dylan Levitt, Daniel James (both Manchester United), Will Vaulks (Cardiff), Morrell (Lincoln).

Forwards: Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Sam Vokes (Stoke), Tom Lawrence (Derby), Tyler Roberts (Leeds), Rabbi Matondo (Schalke), Kieffer Moore (Wigan).

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