Real Madrid are reportedly losing patience with Gareth Bale, who is "walking a tightrope" in the Spanish capital and will be made available on the transfer market in the summer if his form does not improve.
That's according to AS' Sergio Santos Chozas, who reported the European champions expected Bale to become the team's main man after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. He has not performed up to expectations, and for the first time, club president Florentino Perez is willing to entertain a sale:
"Unlike in previous years, the club's patience has run out. If he doesn't react in the months that remain until the end of the season, Florentino Perez will start looking for offers. Bale will turn 30 next summer. It's now or never. If he doesn't live up to expectations, it will be assumed that he will never take over Ronaldo's mantle and become a leader."
Transfer speculation has been a constant for Bale for years, and the Welshman has denied all rumours linking him with a return to the Premier League. According to Neil Fissler of the Sunday Express last month, he's happy in the Spanish capital and will resist attempts to move him.
The 29-year-old has scored just three goals in La Liga so far this season and is regarded as one of the main players responsible for the club's poor start. The Spanish press have not shied away from criticising him, and Sky Sports Football recently took a look at the way Bale is portrayed in Spain:
Bale's international form with Wales has been solid, adding insult to injury for Real fans:
Bale's last goal in La Liga was September 1, when he was on point against Leganes. At the time Los Blancos were flying high, but they've since gone through a major slump that led to the dismissal of manager Julen Lopetegui.
The Welshman remains a special talent who has shown some real moments of magic in the capital:
As a result his transfer value is likely still high, with clubs in England perhaps hoping a change of scenery will unlock his best form once again. His strong performances for Wales indicate his lack of success in Madrid could be down to fit.
A January move seems unlikely at this point but after years of inconsistency a summer exit could be on the cards. Real parted with Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane in the summer and appear ready to clean house, especially if the 2018-19 season ends in disaster.