Gareth Bale: Wales' star player returns for Austria & Moldova double header

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Chris Coleman discusses his future as Wales manager, hinting he has not ruled out staying on past the 2018 World Cup campaign.
2018 World Cup qualifiers
Date: Saturday, 2 September Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Gareth Bale has returned to Wales' squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifying double header against Austria and Moldova after his one-match suspension.

The Real Madrid forward missed June's draw in Serbia after receiving his second booking of the campaign against the Republic of Ireland in March.

And 16-year-old Ethan Ampadu is also in Chris Coleman's squad for the first time after his move to Chelsea.

Ampadu played 13 times for Exeter City last season and made his debut at 15.

Wales host Austria on 2 September and travel to Moldova three days later.

Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen is included and he will be available for the second fixture following his one-match suspension for picking up a second yellow card against Serbia.

Wales will also have left-back Neil Taylor available against Moldova, as the game against Austria will be his second of a two-match ban.

Joe Ledley
Joe Ledley has yet to find a club for 2017-18

The Aston Villa player was suspended for his tackle on the Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman, which left the Everton player with a broken leg.

Despite still being without a club and not having played a pre-season match, Joe Ledley is included in Coleman's squad, with the manager hinting he will start.

"I am absolutely flabbergasted Joe is not with a club. He's obviously had offers," Coleman said of the midfielder.

"We'll get him as fit as we possibly can in the short space of time we have got him.

"If he can make it I will tell you right now he will start even though he has not played since Serbia.

"He's been incredible for us. Anything we have done over the last three or four years he has been a big part of.

"I can't believe he is without a club but football is all about opinions. He is a good player and great character."

Elsewhere in the squad, Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies is picked in preference to Owain Fon Williams.

Austria have named two new caps for their trip to Cardiff.

Wales boss Coleman says the return of Real Madrid forward Bale is a huge boost, but that he has no discussed with the player rumours linking him with a return to the Premier League.

"It is nice to have Gareth back. He is available to start games. Is he at 100 per cent where he could be? We will see but it's nice to get back," he said.

"You work all your life to get to the top so where do you go from Real Madrid. There is nowhere better. There maybe one or two clubs around them but nowhere better.

Ethan Ampadu
Ethan Ampadu made his debut for Exeter aged 15

"I have not spoken to him about all the rumours. I don't envisage there being any problem with Real Madrid because they have always been fantastic."

Coleman also hinted he could be prepared to select 16-year old Ampadu.

The teenager trained with Wales in Portugal earlier this year but was only able to do so as he was on school half term.

"He is a quality player. We included him in the summer in a big party in Portugal," Coleman said.

"He would have been in the 23 for Serbia but he had to return home because he had exams.

"He is capable of being with the full 23. He is an excellent young player with a fantastic attitude.

"He is not a player I would put in just to say this is a taste because we may need to call upon him.

"If we have to call upon him he will be fine."

Wales: Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Adam Davies, Ben Davies, James Chester, Neil Taylor, Chris Gunter, Jazz Richards, James Collins, Tom Lockyer, Ashley Williams, Ethan Ampadu, Joe Allen, David Edwards, Andy King, Lee Evans, Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey, Jonathan Williams, Gareth Bale, Marley Watkins, Hal Robson-Kanu, Sam Vokes, Tom Lawrence, Ben Woodburn.

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