Gareth Bale will make a decision on his Real Madrid future at the end of the season, following Zinedine Zidane’s return as manager, according to the Welshman’s agent Jonathan Barnett.
Zidane, who led Real to three consecutive Champions League titles before stepping last summer, replaced the sacked Santiago Solari earlier this week when he signed a contract at the Bernabeu until June 2022.
His return puts a question mark over the future of Bale, who found himself on the bench towards the end of last season under the Frenchman.
Bale scored a spectacular double after coming on as a substitute in Real’s 3-1 Champions League final victory over Liverpool but it was clear after the game he was unhappy with his reduced role.
“Obviously I was very disappointed not to start the game,” Bale said afterward. “I felt I deserved it but the manager makes the decisions. I need to be playing week in, week out and that has not happened this season.”
Zidane’s departure, coupled with Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid, looked as though it may open the door for Bale to become the focal point of Real’s attack.
However, that has not materialized during a miserable season for Real that has seen them hire three new managers and Bale has instead become a focal point for criticism from both the fans and the media.
Barnett told Sky Sports News earlier this month his client’s treatment has been “nothing short of a disgrace”.
He says Bale would like to remain with Real but will have to see how he fits into Zidane’s plans going forward.
Asked on BBC Radio 5 Live if he can see Bale in Madrid next season, Barnett said: “Yeah, why not. He wants to play the rest of his career with Real Madrid.
“If that doesn’t work out, then we’ll talk again. At the moment he’s very happy. He’ll talk with Mr. Zidane and take it from there. We’ll see at the end of the season.
“He (Bale) wanted to play one way and Zidane wanted him to play another way. I think that was the cause of it. Over a period of time, it just got worse.
“I think if you let Gareth play the way he wants to play and give him a run of games in a row, he can be right up there with anyone. He’s still got a great talent.”