Gareth Bale open to Premier League move as he seeks Real Madrid exit

Gareth Bale has accused Real Madrid of making things “very difficult” for him by blocking his departure from the Bernabéu and has said he would be open to a Premier League return.

Bale, who is contracted to Real until June 2022, has fallen out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and played only 48 minutes of Madrid’s 12 games when the Spanish season resumed after lockdown.

The former Tottenham and Southampton forward said coming back to the Premier League, which he left in 2013 for a then world record fee of £85.3m, would be a possibility. “If those options arise then I’d look at it for sure,” he told Sky Sports. “We have plenty of time in this transfer window and I guess a couple of others as well. Time will tell.”

Zidane accused Bale of not wanting to play in the Champions League last-16 second leg against Manchester City, but the Wales international has hit back by saying Real have stopped him leaving on various occasions.

Bale, who almost joined the Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning on a £1m-a-week three-year deal in 2019, said: “I think the club needs to answer that question because I tried to leave last year. They blocked everything at the last second.

“It was a project I was excited for last year but it didn’t materialise. There’s been other instances where we’ve tried to go but the club won’t allow it or done something. So it’s on the club, I can’t really do anything. I have a contract.

“All I can do is carry on what I’m doing and hopefully something comes up. But as I said, it’s in the club’s hands. They make things very difficult, to be honest.”

Bale often looked an uninterested spectator on the sidelines when Spanish football returned in June. He was pictured pretending to sleep in the stands and using a roll of wrist tape as a telescope when he found out he was going to be an unused substitute. But he said: “I want to play football and I’m still motivated to play football. I’m only 31 and feel I’m in great shape still.”

Bale is with the Wales squad on Nations League duty and will captain Ryan Giggs’s side against Finland in Helsinki on Thursday. “Whenever I come here I feel very happy, I feel very comfortable and welcomed,” he said. “Whatever goes on at Madrid goes on at Madrid. “It doesn’t really affect me.”