Gareth Bale is “wasting his time” at the Bernabeu and player and club must “finish this situation” this summer, says former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon.
Wales forward Bale, 31, was not part of the Real squad knocked out of the Champions League at Manchester City on Friday, with manager Zinedine Zidane saying he “preferred not to play”.
“It’s very sad. It’s a pity to see a player like him in the stands,” Calderon said of the latest low point in a difficult season for Bale.
“I think his skill and talent has not gone, he is still a good player who could be playing at a high level in any team in the world.
“Therefore I think they will have to find a solution to end this agony for the sake of both sides.
“If he doesn’t want to reduce his salary, which would be understandable, they will have to find another way to finish this situation.”
Bale has two years to run on his Real contract, which is thought to be worth £600,000 a week.
He started only 14 games in all competitions in 2019-20, and featured on just two occasions after Spanish football resumed in June following the coronavirus shutdown.
BBC Sport understands he opted not to travel to Manchester for the last-16 second leg – which City won 2-1 to reach the quarter-finals – because he knew he had no chance of featuring in the match.
His agent, Jonathan Barnett, told the BBC in July Bale was “going nowhere” despite his lack of game time under Zidane, and it seems that stance has not altered despite his absence at Etihad Stadium.
“The coach does not rely on him,” added Calderon, who signed Cristiano Ronaldo during his three-year spell as Real’s president.
“If Zidane stays with Real, which I think is certain, then he [Bale] will have to find a new way.
“Apparently he [Zidane] got what he wanted at the end of the season. He said La Liga was the main objective. I am sure he will continue so there is no place unfortunately for Gareth Bale.
“The problem is he has two more years’ contract. It’s sad to see him wasting his time because he is still for sure fit and in good shape.”
Zidane, who secured Real’s first domestic title in three years last month, said this week he did not know whether Bale has a future in the Spanish capital.
Last summer, the Frenchman stated it would be “best for everyone” if Bale joined Jiangsu Suning, only for Real to call off the proposed transfer to the Chinese club at the last minute.
Calderon believes a host of teams – including a number in the Premier League – would like to sign Bale before the 2020-21 season and says Real would probably allow the £85m forward to leave on a free transfer.
Calderon feels a loan is a possibility and says Real would consider paying some of Bale’s wages to secure a deal.
“We have done that before,” he told BBC Sport Wales.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go on loan and paid part of the salary.”