Zinedine Zidane hails Tottenham star Gareth Bale

Zinedine Zidane has fuelled speculation Real Madrid will move for Gareth Bale in the summer.

The French World Cup-winnner named Bale as the player who has impressed him most this season.

Zidane, who is Real's director of football, reckons the Tottenham winger is not far off being among the best in the world.

And his endorsement will set tongues wagging about a possible bid from Spanish giants at the end of the season.

He said: “This year the player who’s impressed me most is not actually playing in the Champions League.

“He’s playing in “the other cup” and that’s Bale. He’s unique.

"He makes things look easy, his pace is frightening, his acceleration is unbelievable because of his ability to go through the gears in very little space.

“Plus, he’s very good technically which is also important. We mustn’t forget that he plays football very well!

“And he’s really impressed me. I’ve seen him two or three times live, including recently at Lyon, which wasn’t necessarily his best game.

"Every time he got the ball he can surprise you.”

Asked about the comparisions of Bale to world stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane added: “He’s perhaps not quite at the level of the other two but he’s different.

“So personally I don’t think he’s far off.”