Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has refused to deny rumours suggesting that Gareth Bale could leave the Bernabeu this summer.
Jose Mourinho, speaking ahead of Man United’s pre-season win over Madrid, insisted that the club wouldn’t move for the Welshman as any chance of prizing him away would be unlikely.
However, recent reports claiming that a deal with AS Monaco worth £161m had been agreed in principle for Kylian Mbappe has opened the door for Bale to leave.
And Zidane, speaking after his side’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester City in Los Angeles, noted that he had little control over where the 28-year-old would end up this summer.
“I hope they stay, but I am not the one to decide,” he said.
The Frenchman is referring to Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo here, but out of the three there is only one player with an even remote chance of leaving this summer.
Last season saw Bale spend another lengthy spell on the sidelines through injury and Zidane, in response, cultivated a system – Isco at No.10 with Ronaldo and Benzema as a front two – that drove them towards an historic double, and his pursuit of Mbappe could be a nod towards building on that approach and, by extension, pushing Bale closer to the periphery.