Gareth Bale appears to be on the verge of a Real Madrid exit after Zinedine Zidane revealed transfer talks are under way with an unnamed club – comments which prompted the player’s agent Jonathan Barnett to call the Frenchman a “disgrace”.
The 30-year-old looks set to leave the Bernabeu six years after arriving from Tottenham in a then world-record £85 million deal.
Zidane confirmed Bale was left out of Real’s squad to face Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup in Houston on Saturday because “the club is working on his departure”.
PA understands long-term admirers Manchester United are not in for the Wales international and a return to Spurs looks unlikely, but odds on a move to German giants Bayern Munich are shortening.
“He wasn’t included in the squad because the club is working on his departure and that’s why he didn’t play,” Zidane said.
“We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days. We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better.
“Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.”
Zidane added: “It’s nothing personal. There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done. I’ve not got anything against him.
“We have to make decisions and change things, that’s all there is to it. You’re aware of the situation and there’ll be a change to it. I don’t know if this will happen in 24 or 48 hours’ time.
“The situation will change and it’s for the best for everyone. That’s how things go.
“I speak with the club, we’ve got decisions to make and it’s a decision that’s been made by the coach and the player. Let’s see how things play out.”
Zidane’s public comments have not gone down well with Bale’s camp, who told ESPN FC there was “nothing more” to add regarding the Welshman’s future.
“Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real,” Barnett said.
“If and when Gareth goes it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing.”
Despite being hit by a series of injuries, Bale has helped the Spanish powerhouses win four Champions League titles, the domestic league title and a host of other trophies.
However, his future at the Bernabeu has been the subject of plenty of speculation in recent years and Zidane said an exit is “for the best for everyone”.
While a return to Tottenham is understood to be improbable, Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino left the door ajar following their 3-2 ICC win against Juventus in Singapore.
“I saw in the media (Zidane’s comments) but I do not know which club is working to try to sign him,” he said.
“At the moment I do not have any information from my chairman. I don’t know if it is us or another club. It is not my job. It is the job of my chairman who is trying to build the best possible squad.”