Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is set to leave Gareth Bale on the bench for the first leg of the Champions League last 16 against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night (14 February) in order to make space for an extra midfield in his starting line-up, according to Cope.

The Radio Station says that Isco will replace the former Tottenham Hotspur star in a 4-4-2 formation with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema leading the attack.

The team will be almost identical to the side which begun the 4-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League final in Cardiff last May.

The only change will see the versatile Nacho installed at right-back instead of Dani Carvajal who is suspended.

Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Marcelo complete the back-line with Keylor Navas remaining as number one ahead of Kiko Casilla.

Casemiro is tipped to serve as the holding midfielder while Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will have extra help from Isco in the middle of the park to try to dominate the possession against Marco Verratti and Co.

The news from Cope still comes as a major surprise with Zidane having previously suggested that the BBC trident formed by Ronaldo, Benzema and Bale would be relied on in the big games.

Wales international Bale didn't play in the final against Juve because he had just recovered from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with injury.

Bale also served as a sub during the 3-0 defeat to Barcelona on 23 December having also struggled with varying muscle problems during the opening half of the current campaign.

Real Madrid

However, this time the Welshman appeared to be fully fit for the crucial clash with PSG.

Indeed Bale was recently rewarded with the January player of the month honour by the fans after scoring five goals in as many games, including braces against Deportivo La Coruna and Celta Vigo.

He only played 17 minutes during the weekend's 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad and it was originally though that Zidane was only resting him ahead of the long-awaited visit of PSG.

Zidane has been especially cautious with Bale since since his latest injury setback and the he has not completed a single game in 2018.

But Cope says that Bale will have to wait for his opportunity from the bench when Neymar's side visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The news is yet to be confirmed by the 12-time European champions but Zidane was coy over his selection plans when asked whether he would use the BBC against PSG.

"What I want is for my team to be focussed on the game. We'll see tomorrow. The system isn't really important, it's what we do out there on the pitch that counts. What I can tell you is that the way we set up isn't the key. My concern is what my players go out there and do," Zidane said in the press conference on Tuesday.

Pressed specifically about Bale's failure to complete a full 90 minutes this term, Zidane added: "I have to make substitutions during the game and I often do that with the offensive players. I have done it with Bale, Isco, Benzema... there is nothing more to it".