Gareth Bale’s agent has once again poured cold water on reports that his client is close to exiting Real Madrid in the near future.
The Welshman has once again remained at Los Blancos beyond the January transfer window despite reports linking him with a return to Tottenham, while a transfer to China collapsed last summer.
“Let's be realistic, for most clubs he's out of their league financially,” Jonathan Barnett explained on talkSPORT radio in the UK.
“It's not all about money, it's his lifestyle, his children have grown up in Spain..
“He's in a very fortunate position. When his contract is up in two-and-a-half years he'll sit down with myself and his family and decide what he wants to do.
“Gareth believes there's still a future there at Real Madrid, he's got two-and-a-half years there and he has a wife and three children who are very happy and very settled and he has a lovely lifestyle.
“'He was available, and then I had to choose, and I choose someone else,' that's all Coach Zinedine Zidane said after the match. But he's here with us and I'm counting on him.”
Madrid fans vociferously booed and jeered the forward upon his return to club football in November during the victory over Real Sociedad, although subsequent reactions have been more subdued.
The forward celebrated qualifying for the European Championships next summer with a flag stating “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”
Since that international break, Bale has made multiple appearances for Madrid, including a star at the Camp Nou in El Clasico in December, but has not scored in La Liga in that run.
The Welshman has been widely criticised in parts of Spanish media for his golfing habit – and the player himself has admitted the sport is his one true habit.
Indeed, such is Bale’s links to the sport that he has been nicknamed ‘The Golfer’ by his Madrid teammates – another stick the Spanish media has used to him.
However, the 30-year-old has won four Champions League titles at Madrid since his 2013 switch from Tottenham but was close to joining Chinese club Jiangsu Suning this summer.
Bale’s current deal at Madrid runs through to 2022 and was signed in 2016.
“We've been told that he's still a very important part of Real Madrid,” added Barnett.
“The only people who really know what's going on are Mr, Zidane, Gareth and probably the president.
“They know what's going on and they're all happy with the situation.”