Gareth Bale is “going nowhere” despite his increasingly peripheral status at Real Madrid, the Wales forward’s agent says.
Bale was visibly frustrated as he was left on the bench for most of Real’s La Liga title triumph this season.
And although other clubs are interested in signing the 31-year-old, his agent Jonathan Barnett says he will not leave on loan or on a permanent transfer.
“Gareth is fine. He has two years left on his contract,” he 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 has scored more than 100 goals and won four Champions League titles at Real Madrid but his future has been under intense scrutiny lately, owing much to his fractious relationship with Zidane.
The coach insisted Bale’s omission from the team’s final game of the season against Leganes was a “technical decision” but their exchanges have not always been so diplomatic.
One of the reasons for Zidane’s departure from Real in 2018 was a disagreement with club president Florentino Perez, who wanted Bale to stay at the club, while Zidane wanted him gone.
It was the Frenchman who eventually left and, when he was reinstated a year later, one of the conditions for his return was the sale of Bale.
When a deal was agreed to take the former Tottenham player to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning last summer, Zidane said Bale’s departure would be “best for everyone” before the move collapsed.
Barnett responded by calling Zidane a “disgrace” but, speaking on Monday after Real’s second La Liga title since Bale moved there in 2013, he struck a more conciliatory tone.
“Gareth is not looking to outlast Zinedine Zidane. Mr Zidane has been very successful,” Barnett said.
“There’s no hatred. Mr Zidane just does not want to play him.
“Gareth trains every day and he trains well.”
Bale is still Real Madrid’s highest-paid player with his current contract, which does not expire until 2022, thought to be worth around £600,000 per week.
That is why Real were eager to sell Gareth Bale last summer. The savings they could have made on his wages meant they were even willing to forego a transfer fee for a player they made the most expensive in the world when they signed him for a then world-record fee of £85m in 2013.
Bale now finds himself in a tricky position: unwanted by his current coach but too expensive for almost any potential suitor.
Not that the Wales forward seems to mind too much, judging by his recent antics while on the bench for Real.
Even if he is not playing, Bale seems content to collect his enormous salary, which would cost his employers more than £35m if he was to stay for the remaining two years on his contract.
One potential issue, however, could be his lack of match fitness.
Bale has previously stated that playing for Wales means more to him than representing Real Madrid and, with Euro 2020 postponed until the summer of 2021, next season will be significant for international football.
If this impasse at Real continues, Gareth Bale could find himself lacking in match fitness before leading Wales at what would only be their third appearance at a major tournament.
Even with that possibility in mind, Barnett has dismissed the notion of Bale joining another club on loan in order to play regularly.
“He wants to play for Wales at Euro 2020. He always wants to play well for Wales,” said Barnett.
“Gareth is one of the best players in the world. The best players in the world do not go out on loan.”
Source: BBC Sports