Carlo Ancelotti: 'Gareth Bale still hugely important'

Carlo Ancelotti insists that Gareth Bale remains an "important" player for Real Madrid amid reports claiming that he could leave for Manchester United in January.

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Gareth Bale remains an "important' player for Real Madrid amid suggestions that he has fallen down the pecking order.

Isco and James Rodriguez have impressed during the Welshman's absence with a hip injury.

Speculation has claimed that Los Blancos would be willing to entertain a £90m January offer from Manchester United for Bale, but Ancelotti indicated that those reports are false and reminded the media at his Wednesday press conference why the 25-year-old is still regarded as a key player.

"It looks like many people have forgotten that Bale scored in the Champions League and FA Cup finals," he told reporters. "He is as important as Isco and James."

Bale, who was shortlisted for the Ballon d'Or on Tuesday, has scored 27 goals in 53 La Liga and Champions League games since joining Madrid in a world-record £86m deal from Tottenham Hotspur.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi vies with Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo during the Spanish league Clasico football match on October 26, 2013
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