Furious Real Madrid on lookout for Gareth Bale buyer after agent comments – report

Gareth Bale

The Wales international was left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad for the 3-2 win over Villarreal on Sunday, prompting fresh doubts over his future at the Bernabeu.

His agent Jonathan Barnett responded by telling Sky Sports (opens in new tab): "He wants to stay. I'm not sure that Mr Zidane wants him to stay, but at the moment Gareth wants to stay.

"He's got a contract, he will quite happily see it out until 2022. He has been and is, in my opinion, one of the top three or four players in the world.

"This game is a game of opinions and Mr Zidane doesn't think that. That is his opinion, he is entitled to it, I won't criticise him."

When asked if Bale could return to the Premier League, Barnett said: "It certainly is possible, if somebody puts their hand in their pocket and pays us what we think he deserves. It's going to be a lot of money!"

According to The Sun (opens in new tab), those comments have enraged the Madrid hierarchy and they are now prepared to send Bale to the Under-23 squad unless he finds a new club.

Teams across Europe and in China have been contacted as the La Liga giants look to get rid of the forward, either permanently or on loan.

The report says that Real could be willing to pay part of Bale’s £500,000-per-week wages to get him off the books on a permanent basis.

“There are people who give nothing to the team’s soul and ethos,” said a club source.

“They will not remain here under Zidane. This summer will be one of the busiest in the club’s recent history.”

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.