Gareth Bale six-year spell at Real Madrid appears to be ending on a sour note after he wasn’t used in the club’s 2-0 home defeat by Real Betis on the final day of the season.
Manager Zinedine Zidane didn’t feel the need to use the Welshman to inspire a comeback, leaving the forward frustrated at full-time.
The 29-year-old then refused to acknowledge the Bernabeu crowd after the final whistle by swiftly making his way down the tunnel and back to the changing rooms.
Reports have suggested that Zidane has told Bale he will be frozen out of the first team should he fail to find a new club this summer.
The forward has been linked with a return to the Premier League with a loan option being mooted but his astronomically high wages will present a problem for potential suitors.
It appears to be a big problem for Real, too, who are hoping to offload him sooner rather than later but Bale seems intent on staying and seeing out his current three-year deal worth £15million a season.
According to Spanish radio station Radioestadio, Bale reportedly told his team-mates that he’ll be happy to stay and ‘play golf’ if he’s not selected to play.
‘I’ve got three years left on my contract,’ he said. ‘If they want me to go, they’ll need to pay me £15m per season. If not, I’ll stay here. And if I have to play golf, I will.’
Zidane remained coy over Bale’s future after the game.
When pressed on whether he will be working with Bale again when the players are due to return for pre-season training on July 6, before the summer tour of North America, Zidane said: ‘I don’t know what will happen. Lately I have picked other players. Anything could happen.