Benched Bale storms down the tunnel as Madrid exit draws closer

Yahoo Sport UK
Gareth Bale on the bench during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Betis (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Gareth Bale on the bench during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Betis (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Gareth Bale has put potential suitors on red alert after an ignominious end to the season with Real Madrid.

The Welshman was left on the bench as an unused substitute in what may be his final appearance at the Bernabeu as the Spanish giants suffered a dismal 2-0 home defeat to Real Betis.

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Rather than join his teammates on the pitch at the final whistle to acknowledge the Madridistas, Bale instead chose to hug Betis coach Quique Setiéngo before heading straight down the tunnel.

Speculation has been rife about Bale’s future, with the player frequently linked with a return to the Premier League.

Manchester United have long been rumoured to be chasing the 29-year-old’s signature, while there have also been suggestions that the player could make an emotional return to former club Tottenham Hotspur.

Bale, who joined Real for a then world record £85m fee in 2013, has helped the club to four Champions League wins during his time in Spanish capital - scoring in two finals, including a spectacular overhead kick against Liverpool in 2018.

The Cardiff-born winger also lifted the La Liga title in 2017 and scored a stunning solo effort to help the club beat rivals Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.

Gareth Bale could be heading for a Real Madrid exit after latest snub (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Gareth Bale could be heading for a Real Madrid exit after latest snub (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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However, Bale appears to have fallen out of favour following the return of manager Zinedine Zidane midway through this season, and looks set to leave the club this summer.

Goals from Betis’ Loren Moron and former Real star Jese saw Madrid fall to their twelfth defeat in the league this season.

Zidane’s side finish the campaign a distant third behind rivals Barca and Atletico, and following a humiliating round of 16 Champions League exit to Ajax, big changes are expected in the coming months.

Bale’s omission from the line-up suggests he will likely be among those changes.

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