Barnett: "There's no guarantee that Bale is leaving Real Madrid"
Jonathan Barnett said that the flag with 'Wales, golf, Madrid' was just for the media and says people who talk about his agent have never met him.
Jonathan Barnett spoke to Guillem Balague on BBC's Football Daily podcast about Gareth Bale's situation and his relationship with Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane.
Barnett: It's nice to see the press have a good sense of humour in Spain.
Balague: He was aware of the flag...
Barnett: Yes, he can read.
Balague: He was directing that at the media?
Barnett: Only to the media.
Barnett: Only at the media because of the stupidity they have been writing. It's infantile and stupid what they've been saying about him. It's from people who have never met him, don't know him and every week I listen to it every week and every week it's from nobodies.
Steve Crossman: Do the fans of Real Madrid understand that it was for the media and not the club?
Barnett: I would hope so. What I really think, if I said it I don't think I'd be allowed back into Spain. The truth has done fantasically well in the years he has been there he has helped them win so much and it's hard to imagine and I really don't understand why the crowd react like they do to him and listen to people who say things in the press and say it would be better if he could speak the language. He speaks fluent Spanish and all the people who say he doesn't have never met him. They write things that are complete rubbish.
Balague: The voice against Bale in the press is unanimous.
Barnett: It's lucky the press don't pay his wages. He does very well, Real Madrid like him and everything's good. It's upsetting and maybe people make too much out of it but one thing is for sure, when he gets on that field, he gives 100% week in and week out. If the press don't like him, he can live with that.
Balague: Have you tried to get his point across with the press? Has that happened?
Barnett: Yes, we tried to tell people. We tried to tell the press but at the end of the day the press will write what they want to and they have their own reasons and I still don't know why and there's nothing we can do. Gareth himself doesn't particularly like speaking to the press and he gives very few interviews, which is his perogative in life. He's not an entertainer, he's a football player and that's what he gets on with and he speaks on the field and his results with Real Madrid have been amazing. The quicker people realise that and applaud him for what he has achieved and is achieving fantastic.
Mina Rzouki: Do you think that what has happened with Zinedine Zidane and what's happening with the fans, is there a chance there a chance that he might think that he doesn't want be there anymore?
Barnett: Yes, I think that's a very good point. I think the way he was treated by the press, by other people, maybe by the club, was in my opinion disgusting. For what he has done and I think that some of the words that were used by Mr. Zidane weren't great. The way he was treated obviously has an affect and it has left a long-lasting affect on him.
Steve Crossman: Zidane said he was misinterpreted. Now he says he doesn't care what is being said about the flag. He seems to be depending on him. Do you think that relationship is healing?
Barnett: I think Gareth is the same as Mr. Zidane. He only cares about what he does on the pitch. And when he's on the field, he'll give 100%. And I think that's where we are with it. I think what's gone on before is private between everyone and he'll keep it like that. He has never commented on it ever.
Mina Rzouki: The golf thing. Is the reality that, it's just a source of fun, not a source of controversy.
Barnett: It's ridiculous. It's his hobby. He trains as hard as anybody, maybe more. He's never late. He's always on time. He's still one of the best footballers on earth and it's ridiculous to say he goes and plays golf. By the way, he's a very good golfer. Just so you should know that. It's completely childish but amongst the players it's a nice joke. Nobody begrudges it, and the more the press write about it the funnier the joke becomes between the players.
Mina Rzouki: Should you have to know how to play media game saying he is 100% committed?
Barnett: I think in Gareth's case, why does he need to play the game with the press. He's got everything he wants himself. As long as he's got everything himself, he's got a lovely home life, everything he wants. His teammates like him, he plays for a great team. Why would he bother what the press say? I think what's important is that the people that matter regard him. The people who are in football, the people who know him and all those people who are important. It's not important what a press person thinks about him and that's his mentality. And you have to respect him for that. I respect him very much for how he wants to live his life. He wants to be a very normal person. He is a fantastic person and he only cares about people who he needs to.
Balague: A manager said to me is that to get the best out of Bale is to get him upset.
Barnett: I thought it was to give him a new contract.
Balague: Well, maybe that would help too. I don't know if that has worked with Zidane. Is it a tactic that Zidane is using?
Barnett: I'm afraid you'll have to ask Zidane about that. I don't want to get involved in tactics...
Balague: What's the relationship between them at the moment?
Barnett: One's a coach and one's a player. And that's it.
Balague: What about the future? How close was he to leaving Real Madrid?
Barnett: Very. Very close. And then things just happened at the last minute and then we all know that he stayed.
Steve Crossman: What about January?
Barnett: We have to wait and see. Nothing has changed in the last few months. He is a Real Madrid player, he has a contract with Real Madrid and as long as Real Madrid want him, there's not much one can do about it.
Steve Crossman: Would you describe him as happy?
Barnett: He's not ecstatic.
Steve Crossman: Why not move, if he's not ecstatic?
Barnett: He's got a contract and as long as he's a Real Madrid player, he'll play 100%.
Balague: I said in As that this is his last season. Do you think that's something he has been working on?
Barnett: I think we keep our things pretty private. If the right opportunity came along for him and it was something he wanted to do then I think we'd have to have a chat to Real Madrid and the president and see where we are.
Balague (asking Aitor Karanka): What would you do if you had a player that wanted to leave the club?
Barnett: Well there's no gurantee that he's leaving. He still has two more years at Real Madrid. He's never asked to leave. We just have to, facts and figure prove, that if he's on the field then Real Madrid have a better chance of winning. And nobody has ever accused him of not giving 100%.