Zinedine Zidane explained that Gareth Bale’s latest omission from his line-up was because the Wales star is “very close” to leaving Real Madrid.
Bale, who is no longer rated by Zidane, was a notable absentee during Real’s 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in Saturday’s International Champions Cup (ICC) encounter in Houston.
The 30-year-old’s future has been in strong doubt since Zidane returned as head coach in March. Since then, he found himself out of favour at the Santiago Bernabeu once again.
Unsurprisingly, this development has sparked rumours that Bale’s six-year stay at Real would come to an end in the summer transfer window.
Premier League duo Tottenham and Manchester United have both been mentioned as possible summer destinations. Although the Wales international’s reluctance to take a pay cut from his annual salary of €15m at Real proved to be a stumbling block.
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has also frequently denied his client will be leaving Real in the last few months.
More recently, though, Bundesliga champions Bayern have allegedly emerged as a potential new club for Bale. Although manager Niko Kovac did declare on Friday that he’s unsure if the winger wants to join them.
While Spurs, on the other hand, have reportedly made a €60m offer to re-sign Bale. However, the bid does fall short of Los Blancos’ €70m to €80m asking price.
Speaking after Real’s defeat to Bayern, though, Zidane announced Bale’s future is almost sorted and hopes it will be over very soon.
“Bale did not play because he is very close to leaving,” said Zidane, according to AOL.
“We hope he leaves soon, it would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.”
“I have nothing personal against him, but there comes a time where things are done because they must be done, I have to make decisions, we have to change,” he added.
“The exit is the coach’s decision, and also of the player, who knows the situation.
“The situation will change, I do not know if in 24 or 48 hours, but it will, and it’s a good thing for everyone.”
Corentin Tolisso, Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry were the goalscorers for Bayern on Saturday. While new boy Rodryigo Goes pegged a late goal back for Real.