Tony Cascarino has questioned Gareth Bale’s desire to play football, as Real Madrid attempt to force him out of the club.
The 30-year-old has been urged to publicly express a desire to leave the Spanish side as, according to the talkSPORT host, he is ‘clearly not wanted’ and should target a return to the Premier League.
Bale is understood to be keen to stay, however, manager Zinedine Zidane appears to have ended any chance of him remaining at the Bernabeu.
Speaking on Saturday, Zidane said he ‘hopes’ Bale leaves Real soon and expects him to seal a transfer away from Madrid imminently.
Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, was incensed by those remarks, branding the Frenchman a ‘disgrace‘ for his treatment of the player.
Bale has won four Champions League trophies at Real since joining Real from Tottenham six years ago for a then world-record £85million.
“I’m just not sure he has the real desire to play,” Cascarino wrote in The Times, echoing the thoughts he expressed on The Weekend Sports Breakfast.
“Gareth has been a world-class player and has nothing to prove but what disappoints me most is that I have not heard him say: ‘I need to play football to continue my career so I need to leave Madrid.’”
On Sunday, Cascarino told takSPORT he believes Bale should return to English football, but must lower his wage demands in order to make a move a realistic possibility.
He is reported to earn around £650,000-a-week and is unlikely to get that kind of contract elsewhere.
“I think he should come back to these shores, because there are clubs playing an exciting brand of football,” Cascarino said.
“But unless Gareth gives something back and his demands are not so demanding on a football club where they’re thinking it’s costing us an awful lot of money and yes we’re getting a very good player, then it won’t happen.
“It’s got to be structured differently for Gareth, but he can’t expect to be paid the same sort of money he’s on now at Real Madrid.
“Gareth has to force the issue and come out and say ‘I want to leave Madrid, I don’t want to stay there’.
“He needs to make it clear he wants to be part of something elsewhere, as at Madrid he’s just been banished from the squad.”
With that said, the former Chelsea striker maintains that Manchester United, long-term admirers of the forward, is a realistic option for Bale this summer.
BALE AT REAL MADRID IN NUMBERS
La Liga: x1
Champions League : x4
Copa del Rey: x1
UEFA Super Cup x3
Spanish Super Cup x1
FIFA Club World Cup x4
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“I do see Manchester United as a really viable option for Gareth. But again he’s got to tick the boxes for them,” he added.
“What Zidane said was pretty brutal. All we’ve heard is the club’s perspective, be it either Zidane or the club’s president and so forth. We haven’t heard from Gareth.
“The fans have made it clear they want him to go. He’s not wanted at Madrid.
“Gareth needs to go and speak to the president and talk about what the club want for him and let his agent know. Can it be a loan move or a permanent deal?
“He needs to get away from that football club, as he’s clearly not wanted there.”