Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has insisted that Gareth Bale is still very much in his thoughts despite the Wales international missing the club's last two matches.
The 30-year-old was strongly linked with a move away from the Bernabeu over the summer and allegedly came close to moving to China before ultimately remaining in Spain.
Bale has been used on 10 occasions by Zidane this season, scoring twice and contributing two assists.
The Welshman has not featured in his club's last two matches with Espanyol and Club Brugge, but the Madrid boss has insisted that the former Southampton youngster is still an important player for the team.
"I don't think Gareth's role is less important now. I'm making my decisions, you know?" Zidane told reporters.
"I made three changes during the last match (against Brugge) and Gareth wasn't there. But Gareth is one of us, like always, he's here and I'm going to count on him. You need to know that I have 25 players and they're all important to me. All of them."
Los Blancos will have the chance to move to the top of La Liga when they face Valencia on Sunday night ahead of next week's trip to Camp Nou for El Clasico.