London (AFP) – Gareth Bale has accused Real Madrid of making it “very difficult” to leave the Spanish club as the Wales forward looks to end his Bernabeu exile.
Bale is out of favour with Real manager Zinedine Zidane and played just 48 minutes of Madrid’s 12 games when the Spanish season resumed after the coronavirus lockdown.
Zidane, who has feuded with Bale throughout his two spells in charge, said the winger did not want to play in last season’s Champions League last-16 second-leg tie at Manchester City.
Bale has two years left on his Real contract, but there appears little chance he will force his way into the manager’s plans.
The 31-year-old almost joined Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning in 2019 before Real pulled the plug on the deal, a decision that still irks Bale.
“I think the club needs to answer that question because I tried to leave last year. They blocked everything at the last second,” Bale told Sky Sports.
“It was a project I was excited for last year but it didn’t materialise. There’s been other instances where we’ve tried to go but the club won’t allow it or done something.
“So it’s on the club, I can’t really do anything. I have a contract. All I can do is carry on what I’m doing and hopefully something comes up.
“But as I said, it’s in the club’s hands. They make things very difficult to be honest.”
Bale became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid from Tottenham for £85 million ($113 million) in 2013.
He has won two La Liga titles and four Champions League with Real, but his critics accused him of showing a lack of respect as his row with the Zidane intensified.
He was pictured pretending to sleep in the stands and using a roll of wrist tape as a telescope when he found out he was going to be an unused substitute.
“I want to play football and I’m still motivated to play football. I’m only 31 and feel I’m in great shape still,” Bale said.
Bale has been linked with Tottenham and Manchester United and he will not rule out a return to the Premier League after seven years away if Madrid are willing to sell him.
“If those options arise then I’d look at it for sure. We have plenty of time in this transfer window and I guess a couple of others as well,” he said. “Time will tell.”
Bale is currently with Wales on Nations League duty and will captain the team in Finland on Thursday.
He insisted he remains unaffected by the controversy in Spain.
“Whatever goes on at Madrid goes on at Madrid. It doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “I’ve had plenty of experience to deal with it. It is what it is.”
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