Ramon Calderon thinks "it would be a mistake" for Real Madrid to swap Gareth Bale for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the January transfer window.
Bale's future at Santiago Bernabeu has been the subject of much speculation in recent times, with questions raised over his attitude and commitment to the team's cause.
The Wales international came close to securing a move to China over the summer, but Zinedine Zidane insisted that he remains an important player for Madrid - a stance which he has reiterated ahead of a Clasico clash with Barcelona at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Despite Zidane publicly backing Bale on a number of occasions, it has been suggested that the Frenchman would be willing to send the winger to Old Trafford in exchange for fellow countryman Pogba, who has long been considered as a target for the Blancos.
Pogba has endured a hugely frustrating 2019-20 campaign with the Red Devils, managing only five Premier League appearances to date due to an ankle injury which has kept him out of action since the end of September.
The World Cup winner has been tipped to end up at the Bernabeu sooner rather later, but Calderon is adamant that Bale shouldn't be used as a makeweight in any possible deal, due to the fact he is an "irreplaceable" member of the current Madrid squad.
“We’ve always had bad experiences with this transfer window,” the ex-Madrid president told talkSPORT: “There are no real players available for good teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“They are talking here about a swap – Bale or James [Rodriguez] for Pogba. But I think they are only rumours. It is true Zidane is looking for having Pogba; for a long time he has said that publicly.
“But I think it would be a mistake, especially to let Bale go. If he is fit and motivated, I think he is irreplaceable for us.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had hoped to welcome Pogba back into the senior fold at some point before the end of December, but the Norwegian revealed on Tuesday that his comeback has been delayed by illness.
The Red Devils are currently preparing for a Carabao Cup quarter-final tie against Colchester, which comes before a meeting with Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League on December 22.
Bale, meanwhile, will be in line to start against Barca in midweek, after coming on as a substitute in a 1-1 draw with Valencia at the Mestalla on Sunday.
Whoever wins the Clasico will move three points clear at the Liga summit, with only goal difference separating the two sides at the moment.