Gareth Bale has been left out of Real Madrid’s squad for their pre-season friendly against Red Bull Salzburg as he edge closer to a Bernabeu exit.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are due to continue their preparations for the new campaign against the Austrian champions on Wednesday night but Bale will play no part in the fixture.
The Spanish giants are desperate to get rid of the Welsh winger as Zidane looks to free up funds to enable him to make more moves in the transfer market.
Aside from a bid from China that did not include a transfer fee, there has not been much interest in the former Tottenham winger. However, with the English transfer window set to close at 5pm on Thursday, Bale has been left at home in case a late bid arrives.
Real Madrid tweeted a video of the squad boarding a plane to Austria on Wednesday morning and there was no sight of Bale travelling along with the likes of Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos.
Real must raise funds if they are to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United and it is believed transfers for Bale and James Rodriguez would bring in over £100million.
Bale has already seen one possible transfer collapse after Chinese side Jiangsu Suning offered him a way out, only for Real to pull the plug because they would not have received any transfer fee.
The Welshman still has three years left on his Madrid contract and his incredible salary means he is willing to stay put at the Bernabeu, despite zero assurances he will play. The former Tottenham star scored 14 goals and contributed six assists in 42 competitive games last season.
Zidane was forced to defend the 30-year-old last week after he was pictured playing golf while his team-mates were losing in a pre-season friendly. It remains to be seen whether he will use this time off to return to the course.
‘You are telling me something that has surely happened. I’m here with my players, and I’m not going to comment on that. I’ve not seen the picture. I’m here with my players, so I can’t say much about that,’ the Frenchman said. ‘I hope he’s working well.
‘But I’m here with my players and we will see when we get back to Madrid. I’m not going to tell him off or that he’s not allowed to do it. He’s old enough to do what he wants’. Zidane had no issues with the trip to the golf course.
‘He maybe had his reasons,’ he added. ‘It’s his private life, it’s not something I judge. I think he trained well. We’ll see what’s going to happen when I get back to Madrid.’ Bayern Munich are reportedly the latest club to consider a move for Bale as they look for alternatives to Leroy Sane.
The German giants are desperately looking to add a winger to their squad this summer following the retirement of Arjen Robben and the exit of Franck Ribery at the end of his contract.