Gareth Bale ‘will not leave Real Madrid’ this summer despite his fractious relationship with the club, according to the player’s agent, Jonathan Barnett.
Bale has endured a difficult season with the Spanish giants and has scored just two league goals despite the club’s title success, failing to command a regular first-team place and suffering a strained relationship with head coach Zinedine Zidane.
The Welsh international has become an increasingly peripheral figure at the Bernabeu and his off-field antics have done little to aid his cause, memorably celebrating with a now infamous flag declaring his preference for international duty and playing golf over his club side after securing qualification for the European Championships with Wales last year.
Wales celebrating with a flag that reads 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order' is incredible 😭 pic.twitter.com/Ivvkn2M6Zi
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 20, 2019
Bale’s shithousery of Real Madrid has continued with further antics during his time spent in the dugout, including recently pretending to be asleep – using his coronavirus facemask as an eyemask – after Zidane had used his final substitute during a 2-0 win over Alaves earlier this month.
Congrats to Gareth Bale on winning La Liga. pic.twitter.com/JGWtFtE2ip
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) July 16, 2020
Bale’s bit-part role in Real Madrid’s coronation as Spanish champions continued during the club’s celebrations this week, the winger looking far from enthusiastic as Los Blancos were handed their record-extending 34th top flight title.
The 31-year-old remained firmly on the outside as his teammates joyously paraded the La Liga title, a visible representation of his role on the fringes of the first-team squad, Zidane having previously wanted the player out before a move to Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning collapsed last summer.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Gareth Bale had just signed and hadn’t got to know anyone at Real Madrid yet.
He’s been there SEVEN years. pic.twitter.com/xgqMU60N03
— Spencer (@SpencerOwen) July 16, 2020
Bale has been tentatively linked with a return to the Premier League but his agent says he remains happy in the Spanish capital despite his current situation, insisting the Welshman is ‘going nowhere’ with two years remaining on his contract at the Bernabeu.
“Gareth is fine. He has two years left on his contract,” Barnett told BBC Sport. “He likes living in Madrid and he is going nowhere.
“He is still as good as anyone else in the team. It’s up to [Real Madrid manager] Zinedine Zidane.
“Of course there’s been interest but there’s hardly a club in the world which can afford him.
“It’s a great loss that he’s not in the Real Madrid team at the moment but he will not leave.”
Bale’s lack of game-time is a worrying situation for Wales ahead of next summer’s European Championships, with the hopes of Ryan Giggs’ side heavily pinned on their all-time record goalscorer.
A loan move has been suggested to give Bale the required minutes heading into the tournament, though Barnett insists a temporary deal is not possible for ‘one of the best players in the world’.
“He wants to play for Wales at Euro 2020. He always wants to play well for Wales.
“Gareth is one of the best players in the world. The best players in the world do not go out on loan.”