Zinedine Zidane guided Los Blancos to three successive Champions League titles during his time at the Bernabeu, but left at the end of last season and is now being linked with replacing Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
One player who wouldn’t join him at Old Trafford if he moved to Manchester, however, would be Bale, with El Pais claiming Zidane wanted to sell the Welshman. Zidane wanted to ditch Bale, but Perez performed a U-turn without telling him (Getty) Zidane felt Real’s record signing struggled with his tactics, lacked consistency and was too selfish, while his injury record was another issue.
Bale was rarely used by Zidane in their final season together, and started just one knockout match in their victorious Champions League run – the second leg against Juventus, when he was subbed off at half-time.
He met with Perez in January and they agreed to sell Bale, hoping to net around £100m which could be reinvested on a new Galactico. Neymar was top of their list, though Didier Deschamps warned Zidane about his lack of professionalism, while Eden Hazard, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah were also discussed.
Bale has stepped up on Ronaldo’s absence, though Madrid have struggled somewhat (Getty) But when Bale hinted at leaving after the Champions League final, and with a deal for Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus already in the works, Perez decided to stick by Bale and re-planned to build around an attack of the Welshman and Neymar.
Zidane was not informed of that decision, only finding out about the club’s change in strategy through a third party, and when he met with Perez to plan for the 2018/19 season he told him he was resigning.
Since then, Bale has emerged as a central figure for Real, scoring three times and laying on two assists, though the team only sit in fourth place having lost twice already this season.