Gareth Bale’s ongoing transfer uncertainty at Real Madrid took another twist after fans reportedly hurled abuse at the winger as he reported for pre-season duty on Monday.
The Welshman was among the first-team stars to check-in at the club’s state-of-the-art Valdebebas training base, but it seems his return wasn’t welcomed by everyone.
Bale has struggled to win over all of the Madrid support since arriving from Tottenham in 2013 and reports in Spain have claimed that he was subject to various insults as he made his way inside the complex.
Spanish daily AS has reported that shouts of “ungrateful” could be heard from Madrid fans, while the likes of Dani Carvajal were applauded when they arrived.
Bale, 29, has won four Champions League titles since joining Madrid from Spurs in 2013 for a then world record fee of £89.2million.
But he was heavily criticised by fans and in the Spanish media last season after failing to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus as Madrid failed to win a trophy and came third in La Liga, 19 points behind champions Barcelona .
He started only five of Madrid’s last 11 games of the season and has seemingly fallen out of favour under manager Zinedine Zidane.
And his chances of holding down a place in the side next season look to have been further compromised by the arrival of Eden Hazard from Chelsea and Brazilian Rodrygo from Santos.
However, Bale’s agent last month dismissed suggestions the Wales forward could leave Real Madrid on loan and said it would take “something exceptional” for the player to leave the Spanish capital.
Bale’s high wages – believed to be £600,000 a week – mean few clubs would be capable of signing him permanently, but his agent Jonathan Barnett ruled out the chances of him going out on loan and said the player is happy to stay at Madrid.
“I don’t think he wants to go out on loan. He’s got a lovely life and home in Spain. I think it would take something exceptional for him to leave and loans are not on the menu.”
Manchester United are one of the few clubs who have the financial might to sign Bale but Barnett did not think a move to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Premier League side was realistic.
“He could fit in there. I think he could do very well – he is still one of the best players in the world. But it is very unlikely,” he added.