Bale agent hits back at Valdano criticism

Getty Images

The agent of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has hit back at Jorge Valdano following criticism of the forward's performance in El Clasico.

Bale started the match at Camp Nou on the right of a five-man midfield but offered little impact throughout before being substituted 77 minutes in, with Barcelona leading 3-1.

Former Madrid boss Valdano blamed Bale for failing to track Jordi Alba for Barca's opening goal, accusing him of a lack of focus.

"Bale is one of many players at Madrid who play very freely," he told Onda Cero. "He had the job to follow Jordi Alba, and his concentration lasted just seven minutes.

"Alba was completely free to set up the first goal. There are players in the squad who, like Bale, think they are so important they can do whatever they want. That goes against the collective."

In response, Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, dismissed Valdano's comments as unimportant.

"It comes from nothing, so it is taken as nothing," he told ESPN.

Bale cut a frustrated figure as his run without a goal stretched to six matches in all competitions, and Valdano claims the former Tottenham man is still yet to justify the reported €100million Madrid paid to sign him in 2013.

"Bale's price gave the fantasy that he is world class," he said. "But his last five seasons do not match what Real Madrid paid for him.

"He can score the goal of the season any year, and that must be applauded, but [players like] Sergio Ramos are consistent throughout the season and have also scored historic goals for Real Madrid."

Madrid's 5-1 defeat to Barca is expected to see head coach Julen Lopetegui sacked on Monday.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is favourite to take over, although reported problems during negotiations with the Italian means Castilla coach Santi Solari is being tipped to take temporary charge.