Gareth Bale “does not seem to care” that he is out of favour at Real Madrid, claims Jorgen Valdano, with Zinedine Zidane considered to have “ruled out” the Welshman for the foreseeable future.
This is not the first time that Bale has slipped down the pecking order under an iconic French coach.
He has previously come back into contention, with Real reluctant to leave a big-money asset stuck in the shadows.
Form and fitness issues have, however, made life difficult for Bale over recent seasons, with an expectant fan base marking him out as an easy target.
Questions have been asked of the 30-year-old’s ongoing commitment to the cause, with criticism of his fondness for golf never far away.
It may be that he gets more time on the fairways than he does on the football field over the coming weeks, with Valdano of the opinion that Real are preparing to play out their 2019-20 campaign without Bale forming part of those plans.
The former Blancos player, coach and director has told Onda Cero: “Zidane needs all of his players involved for these games.
“But that seems to be without Bale, who he has already ruled out.
“Bale does not seem to care too much either, and coaches know when a player wants to play.”
Bale did step off the bench in Real’s 3-1 victory over Eibar, which marked their return to competitive action, but was not involved in subsequent successes against Valencia and Real Sociedad.
Karim Benzema has been the star of the show for Madrid in those contests, with the French striker bursting through the 20-goal mark for the season.
Vinicius Junior is another of those to have seen regular game time, with the Brazilian youngster getting the nod ahead of fellow countryman Rodrygo.
That has come as no surprise to Valdano, who said of the battle between two teenage stars: “His [Vinicius’] contribution ended up being decisive.
“It seems that Vinicius is giving more to the team. Rodrygo does not have the same degree of self-confidence that Vinicius has.”
Valdano did, however, concede that “everyone sees more talent in Rodrygo” and that a couple of hot prospects should have prominent roles to play in Real’s long-term future.