“We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team,” said Zinedine Zidane on Gareth Bale after yesterday’s pre-season defeat to Bayern Munich in Houston, Texas.
Zidane left Bale out the squad that faced Bayern.
“I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done,” added Zidane.
Zidane’s words appeared both unapologetic and callous, with Bale’s outspoken agent Jonathan Barnett throwing an instant rebuke.
“Zidane is a disgrace – he shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid,” he told AFP.
Where will Bale wind up next?
The Welshman has spent six years with Real Madrid, scoring some of the team’s most memorable goals like the 2014 Copa del Rey final where he exploited his blistering pace to score a game-winning goal on arch-rivals Barcelona. And no one can forget Bale’s iconic bicycle kick in the victorious Champions League final against Liverpool in 2018.
Watch them both below.
Despite Bale’s 13 trophies, 102 goals, and 65 assists, he’s still an outcast at the Santiago Bernabeu. He’s taken criticism for avoiding full team integration — he refuses to learn Spanish — and on top of his massive salary (€17m/year), seems to take pleasure more in a golf hobby than his football.
Of course, the situation is not entirely his fault. He’s experienced multiple injuries at Real Madrid. And Zidane leaves him on the bench even when he’s healthy. Even more, the tenuous relationship between coach and player shows no sign of improvement. Bale must go, according to Zidane.
Tottenham submitted a €60m bid for Gareth Bale last week, half of the player’s wages. But Real refuses to let him go cheaply, and Bale insists that he won’t go on loan. Manchester United and Bayern Munich are also out over the steep price of the player.
The likeliest suitors include the Chinese Super League who can pick up the titanic tab that’s left on Bale’s €100m in wages.
No matter what Real’s President Florentino Pérez does to convince Zidane otherwise, Bale’s departure is imminent. Wherever Bale winds up next, he leaves a complicated Real Madrid legacy behind him.