Real Madrid: Bale becomes a big problem
The Welshman's flag celebrations have not gone down well at Real Madrid, who are waiting for an explanation. There are also concerns over how Madrid fans are going to react to Bale at the Bernabéu.
The image flying around social media of Balemocking Real Madrid as he celebrated Wales' qualification for Euro 2020 has not gone down well at the club.
Bale's celebrations rile Real Madrid
After Bale was seen joyfully celebrating his country's victory behind a "Wales. Golf. Madrid... In that order" flag, those at the top of Madrid are keen to hear the player's side of the story before acting, but, after a difficult month for both parties, it increasingly looks like Bale's time in Madrid is drawing to a close.
As things stand, Bale is a hot potato for Real and, after returning to the Spanish capital on Wednesday night, following a day off, his presence at a training session scheduled at 11am on Thursday will determine whether the situation goes from bad to worse.
Zidane will be the one to make the first important decision - whether to include him in the squad for Saturday's game against Real Sociedad. Bale is clearly fit to play after representing Wales for 60 minutes against Azerbaijan (a game he started) and 88 minutes against Hungary. The Madrid coach and the club have two options: normalise the situation and integrate a player who was key at the start of the season, or make an example of someone who spent 28 days without training properly and doing little to help the rest of the squad and his team-mates, before going to represent his country, featuring heavily in both qualifiers. The handling of the situation could have a big effect on how Bale is received by Madrid fans at the Bernabéu.
The truth of the matter is that Bale has become a problem for Madrid. However, his agent Jonathan Barnett has told AS that he "will not be leaving" in January. In the British media there are different reports linking him to Manchester United or his former club Tottenham, currently under new management with José Mourinho after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked on Tuesday. The difficulty with a move to the Premier League or another top European club is Bale's wage demands. With Madrid, the Welshman signed a new contract until 2022 in which he earns 14.5 million euros, net, per season, the highest, along with Sergio Ramos, in the Madrid squad.