Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale did not have to explain himself to coach Santiago Solari after being pictured leaving the Bernabeu around 15 minutes before the end of the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad last weekend.
Bale was unavailable for the game because of injury but his early departure had led to speculation of ‘trouble’, not least because Solari later said it would be ‘sorted out in private’.
Reports in Spain had also claimed that Bale would be fined by the club as he broke alleged protocol dictating even injured players are obliged to remain in the stadium for the whole match.
But agent Jonathan Barnett has since told ESPN the fallout from the incident is a “a load of rubbish” and there has been no need for any kind of meeting with Solari.
Bale frustrations appear to be brewing among Real fans once more this season. His five-and-a-half years in the Spanish capital have been limited by persistent injury struggles and he has only played more than 27 La Liga games in a single season on one occasion (2014/15).
One headline from AS this week read, ‘Bale: 22 injuries and many messes’.
Bale famously scored two goals in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool, but a reportedly fractious relationship with former manager Zinedine Zidane had seen him start the game on the bench. He had also been left on the bench for the 2017 final 12 months earlier.
So far this season, the 29-year-old has scored four La Liga goals, but only once since the third weekend of the campaign back at the start of September. During that domestic drought, Real only won three of the 10 games that Bale played in.