MADRID, Spain, Aug 7 – Gareth Bale’s stand-off with Real Madrid continued on Wednesday after the forward was left out of Zinedine Zidane’s squad to face Red Bull Salzburg in a friendly.
Bale has only played in two of Real Madrid’s five pre-season games so far, coming on as a substitute against Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, and has now been left out completely for a third fixture in a row.
James Rodriguez and Mariano Diaz, who are both expected to be sold, were also not included for the match in Austria.
Zidane has made clear that Bale is not in his plans as he looks to rejuvenate Real Madrid following their miserable season last term.
The club are keen to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and Ajax youngster Donny van de Beek potential alternatives.
But Madrid first need to raise funds, after already spending around 300 million euros ($336 million) this summer.
Zidane said last month that Bale being sold would be “best for everyone”, while Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told AFP: “Zidane is a disgrace – he shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid.”
Bale is in no rush to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, where he has a contract until 2022, worth around 18 million euros a year.
He agreed terms with Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning last month but the move was called off after Madrid failed to agree a fee for the 30-year-old.
Bayern Munich retain an interest but any deal would be hugely expensive, making it increasingly likely Bale will remain at Madrid for the start of the La Liga season next weekend.