Gareth Bale has been mysteriously left out of the Real Madrid squad that will host Sevilla on Saturday afternoon.
Bale missed the Supercopa de España final against Átletico Madrid last Sunday through illness but returned to full training during the week, making his absence from the team this weekend somewhat surprising.
Marca have been quick to try and crack the case of the missing 30-year-old, speculating that the decision is indicative of Zinedine Zidane being ‘tired and annoyed at Bale’s constant fitness problems, like the one that prevented him from travelling to Saudi Arabia,’ for the Madrid derby.
Despite these sensationalist claims, the report later concedes that the belief inside the club is that Bale has not fully recovered from his illness – explaining his absence from the squad. Right then, mystery solved?
Bale was on the brink of departing Los Blancos in the summer, before a move to China fell through at the eleventh hour. The Welshman has endured a turbulent relationship with Zidane and the Frenchman was eager to sell the forward when he returned to the Bernabeu hot seat in March 2019.
Bale has also attracted the ire of Real’s supporters this season by posing in front of a banner that read ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’ after Ryan Giggs’ side secured their place at Euro 2020 back in November.
The stunt resulted in the forward being booed by Los Blancos supporters at a number of games this season, while the Spanish media were also extremely critical of the decision to parade the flag. Bale has started just three games for Real since the incident.
Overall, the former Spurs man has made 12 La Liga appearances this season and scored two goals. Reports suggest that Real remain keen on letting Bale depart in the near future, but currently there is a lack of interest in taking on his bloated wages.