Gareth Bale's relationship with Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is reportedly 'worse than ever' and has become 'something personal'.
The Los Blancos flyer is adored in this corner of the world, such have been his heroics with the Wales national team as well as his achievements in the Spanish capital, but his seemingly insidious relationship with Zidane now appears to have reached boiling point.
The 30-year-old has been linked with myriad moves away from the Bernabeu in recent years, but the player has always insisted he is enjoying life in Madrid.
And, indeed, why not? He has won 12 trophies since his then-world-record £85million move from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2013.
But it has all threatened to turn sour of late.
ESPN report that the cracks began in this relationship, which is now said to be 'beyond repair', began in the 2018 Champions League final, when Bale was left out of the starting team only to come on and score a match-winning double, including that stunning overhead kick.
Zidane subsequently left the club but returned in March of last year and the situation is understood to have only deteriorated since then. Sources have told ESPN that the feud has now become 'something personal' between the two.
Bale is thought to be frustrated by his constant omissions from the team, despite his stellar record for the club, while the manager and his staff have reportedly taken umbrage with the manner in which he has reacted to those selection decisions.
Back in February, for example, the Wales talisman was left out of key games such as the defeat by Manchester City in the Champions League and the 2-0 El Clasico win over Barcelona that same week.
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Since La Liga returned, following the outbreak of coronavirus, the forward has come off the bench against Eibar and was an unused substitute against Valencia and Real Sociedad.
He started against Mallorca last Wednesday but it is said that he failed to impress.
The report also states that Bale's Real Madrid team-mates find the whole situation difficult to comprehend. They appreciate and respect the player's ability and are somewhat baffled by the fact he is selected so infrequently.
They also corroborate the numerous reports that he is a model professional when it comes to training.
However, it is higher up where the problem appears to lie.
ESPN claim that Bale's relationship with Florentino Perez, the president of the club, is not as strong as it once was, while he appears to be fighting a losing battle with Zidane and his coaching staff.
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Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has towed the party line by reiterating that his client is happy in Spain, while Zidane has kept his counsel in public, apart from last summer saying the club hoped 'he would leave soon'.
But that move to the Chinese Super League never came to fruition, the reasons for that are varied depending on what you read, but there did appear to be a last-minute u-turn from the club.
The Welshman has two years still left to run on his contract, meaning he will likely price many clubs out this summer. But an exit in the upcoming transfer window cannot be ruled out entirely.
Bale has admitted that he would be open to a move to the MLS in the future, but whether they will be able to stump up the cash in the off season is unlikely.
Whatever happens, though, many want to see the situation resolved. Because Wales fans, like Bale's Real Madrid team-mates, are left scratching their head at the whole saga.