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Gareth Bale is in the top three players in the world at his best, according to Casemiro, who insists the Welshman is still "very important" to Real Madrid.
The 31-year-old was touted for abig-money move to China last summer having initially been deemed surplus to requirements by the Frenchman, but his managerultimately performed a U-turn which saw the deal fall through at the eleventh hour.
Bale has since found himself restricted to a bit-part role in the Madrid squad, makingjust 20 appearances across all competitions this season.
Ex-Tottenham midfielder Danny Murphy has been among those to advise Bale to return to north London and rediscover his "passion" for the game, while Manchester United has also been mooted as a possible next destination for the winger.
However,Casemiro is adamant hisout-of-favour team mate still has a future at the Bernabeu, and that he remains fully committed to thecause ahead of their return to Champions League actionlater this week.
"He's working," the Brazilian told Esporte Interativo."He knows it's not the best time in his career, but he has our support, that of the coach and of the club.
"He's very important for us, he can spring a surprise at any time and he's already shown that. He's a decisive player who scores goals inChampions Leaguefinals.
"We have to be honest and say that he's not at his best, but when he is he's incredible and in the top three in the world. I have a lot of love for him and that's why I try to take care of him as much as I can."