Zidane: "We hope he leaves soon"

Bale "very close to leaving"

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says that "it would be best for everyone" if Gareth Bale departed Real Madrid in the coming weeks, adding that the Welshman is "very close to leaving" the club amid interest from China.

The 30-year-old forward has been isolated from the first-team fold at the Bernabeu throughout the previous year, and was left out of the Los Blancos squad for their recent 3-1 pre-season defeat against Bayern Munich in Houston on Sunday.

It is clear that there is no longer a place for Bale in the Spanish capital, but with three years remaining on his astonishing £600,000-a-week contract, a move away from the club isn't as easy as it sounds. Few - if any - club's are willing to match Bale's colossal wages, which has so far been the sticking point.

Speaking after the Bayern defeat, manager Zidane said: "We hope he [Bale] 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."

The hostility towards Bales is incredibly bizarre considering all he has done for the club since his arrival from Tottenham in 2013. The Wales international has won four Champions League's, three Super Cups, one Copa del Rey and one La Liga title with Madrid since his £85m move from north London, scoring over 100 goals in the process.

His overhead-kick in the 2017-18 Champions League final against Liverpool will go down in history as one of the best goals ever scored in the prestigious competition.

In response to Zidane's cutting comments, Bale's agent - Jonathan Barnett - branded the Frenchman a "disgrace", and said that he had "no respect" for a player who has "done so much for Real Madrid".

Barnett added: "We're working on a few things. Gareth is a Real Madrid player but if he does leave it will be his own decision, not Mr Zidane's."

A move away from Spain seems imminent for Bale, with both Manchester United and former club Tottenham rumoured to be interested in a deal which would see him return to the Premier League.

When asked about his side's reported interest in Bale, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "I saw in the media but I don't know which club is trying to sign him.

"I don't know if we are or if it's another club.

"It's not my job, it's the job of my chairman, who is trying to build the best squad possible."

A more realistic move, however, could be a mega-money switch to the Chinese Super League.

It is being reported that Beijing Guoan are willing to offer the Welshman a staggering £1m-a-week contract if he joins, which would surely be impossible to turn down, though it would also effectively signal the end for his career as a serious footballer at the very top level.

Free Bets & Offers

🔴 Bet £5 & Get £20 FREE BETS! 🔴
FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY. ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 2 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS. FURTHER T&CS APPLY. 18+. BEGAMBLEAWARE.ORG
Claim Bonus
🏆 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH 🏆
New customers only, limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your first bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £/€20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
⚡️Get up to £100 in Bet Credits⚡️
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.
Claim Bonus
🙌 £20 Risk Free First Bet - Money Back in CASH! 🙌
New customers only. Minimum odds 1/5 (1.2). If you place a multiple at least one selection must meet the min odds requirement. Max £20 refund. Only deposits made using Cards or Applepay qualify. Qualifying bet must be placed and settled within 30 days of account opening. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Money Back As Bonus Up To £40 If Your First Bet Loses + £10 Casino Bonus! 🟢
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & Get £30 in Bonuses 🌟
New Customers only. Deposit and place a £5 qualifying bet at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 2x £10 Sports/Virtual Sports Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater, expires in 7 days, plus a £10 Casino Bonus, expires in 7 days. Wager the Casino Bonus 35x to withdraw winnings. Payment Cards only. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
Get up to £30 in FREE BETS! ☑️
New UK & Ireland customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Terms Apply
Claim Bonus
When The Fun Stops. Stop.