The Welshman believes that fighting for a spot is part and parcel of being at a big club and has welcomed the challenge Isco has posed him

Gareth Bale believes places are up for grabs at Real Madrid regardless of whether the club make new Galactico signings in the transfer window.

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Although Bale returned to take a seat on the bench for last month’s Champions League final victory against Juventus, Isco had filled the Welshman’s usual place to great acclaim during his injury-enforced absence.

Madrid have now been linked with a world-record move for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, but Bale is unconcerned about having to fight to be selected next season.

“I think that’s just football these days,” Bale told ESPN. “Anywhere you go now in the world – whether it be England, in Germany, here in Spain, in France – there’s always big transfers going on. It’s just part and parcel of football now.

“[Isco and I] don’t really play in the same position. Obviously, it’s up to the manager [Zinedine Zidane] what he decides. But ultimately, we both want to play – it’s the same for every other player who wants to play. I suppose everybody’s place is up for grabs.”

Bale accepted it was difficult to watch Madrid claim the league title from the sidelines as he battled back to fitness, with Zidane’s side pipping rivals Barcelona.

“Last season was a bit frustrating for me,” the Wales international said. “I started the season off very well, but obviously got a major injury where I obviously needed an operation.

“It took a lot longer than expected to come back from. For me now it’s about working hard in pre-season, getting back to full fitness, getting my ankle strong and starting off the new season fresh and raring to go.

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“Obviously in hindsight it’s easy to say, but as you get older as a footballer, you learn more, you learn every day and you learn more about your body and injuries. Next time I’ll come back when the time is right, but in hindsight, which is a beautiful thing, you’d love to go back and change it, but that’s not the case.”

While Alvaro Morata is set to join Chelsea and rumours linking Mbappe with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu continue, Cristiano Ronaldo has also been linked with leaving Madrid. 

“We get along really well,” Bale added, “On the pitch we play good football. We score a lot of goals and assists a lot. We’re just like normal team-mates.”

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