GOAL - Chris Burton
A difficult relationship between player and coach at the Santiago Bernabeu has carried over from the 2017-18 campaign.
Zidane took to benching Bale towards the end of his previous reign in the Spanish capital, with the 29-year-old forced to make a stunning contribution in a Champions League final win over Liverpool as a substitute.
The departure of a French tactician last summer, along with that of Cristiano Ronaldo, appeared to have paved the way for Bale to make a more telling contribution to the Real cause.
He has, however, endured more struggles for form and fitness and is now generating intense transfer talk ahead of the summer window.
Zidane has not called upon Bale’s services since April 28, with the Welshman omitted completely from matchday squads, and has suggested that an exit call has been made.
Jonathan Barnett, Bale’s representative, maintains that is not the case and that his client – who has been linked with Manchester United, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain – is focused on honouring a long-term contract.
He told ESPN FC: "Gareth is fine.
"He is still a Real player with three years left on his contract.
"He has always been clear about that. And if he is picked he will play."
Pressed further on what could happen if Bale continues to be frozen out, Barnett added: "You would have to ask Mr Zidane what he wants to do.
"But Gareth will keep trying."