Throw in the Barcelona connection - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola both played for and coached the Catalan giants, guiding them to two Champions League triumphs - and it is likely to be a fiery affair at the Etihad. "That's clear", Zidane said in his pre-match news conference on Thursday.
Hoever said when asked about a potential Madrid move, as quoted in Bleacher Report: "I'm very happy at Liverpool". The only thing I can say is [Bale] preferred not to play.
Zidane said the decision as "personal" and denied being disappointed in Bale's attitude.
"I respect Gareth a lot", he said.
"The rest is a private conversation between player and coach".
"He's a current player of Real Madrid and he is our player".
The same source declared that Bale refused to travel knowing full well that he would not make the pitch tonight. Real Madrid has since won La Liga in with 87 points after playing extremely well since the restart of the season with a 10-0-1 record since teams came back to play.
Manchester City have won every domestic trophy, but the Champions League remains the missing piece in their collection.
But his agent Jonathan Barnett recently told the BBC Bale had two years left on his Real contract and was not intending to leave.
Colombia global Rodriguez has also been left out in recent weeks at his own request and is expected to leave during this transfer window.
The Spanish champions are 2-1 down after the first leg of the last-16 tie at the Bernabeu in February. But Zidane said Eden Hazard is fit to face City, despite concerns regarding the Belgian's right ankle.
Zidane said: "It is true he was feeling it a bit towards the end of the (La Liga) season, but now he is much better than he was".
"So, I think it's going to be a tricky situation but I am afraid he's going to stay at Real Madrid".
When you add this to the fact he isn't injured, it doesn't make for great reading. But he doesn't have to play with discomfort.