Report claims Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid because the club broke promise to sell Gareth Bale
He reportedly wanted to replace the forward with Eden Hazard.
Zinedine Zidane resigned as Real Madrid manager because the club broke a promise to sell Gareth Bale, according to a report from Spain.
Diego Torres makes the claim in El Pais newspaper.
According to the football journalist, who covers the club and wrote a book on Jose Mourinho's time at Real, Zidane wanted rid of Bale.
The Welsh forward lost his starting place under Zidane last season. He rarely featured in the knockout stages of the competition as the club won their third Champions League title in a row.
Bale had to make do with a place on the bench for the final against Liverpool. But he came on as a second-half substitute and turned the tie in Kiev. He scored twice, the first of which was a stunning overhead kick, the second a shot dropped into the net by Loris Karius.
If the report is to be believed, Bale may have left the club in the summer if he had not scored those goals and Zidane may still be the manager.
The former world player of the year resigned from his post just five days after the final.
He said that the club "needed another voice" to continue being successful on the pitch and that it was the right time for all parties to make a change.
Yet, according to Torres, Zidane left because Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president, broke a promise to sell Bale and did not consult him before making the decision to retain the Welshman.
According to the report:
- Zidane had asked Perez to sell Bale at the end of the season.
- The Frenchman didn't particularly rate him. He felt the forward was too "individualistic" and wasn't tactically astute. There were also concerns about his injury record.
- Perez had agreed to sell the Welshman and use the money towards a transfer for Neymar.
- Zidane had concerns about Neymar's "professionalism" and offered alternative suggestions.
- He urged Perez to sign Eden Hazard. He was also open to potentially signing Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah. But he was adamant that Bale must leave.
- However, following Bale's goals in the Champions League final, Perez changed his mind.
- He told the former Tottenham forward that he would have an "important role" the following season.
- The Real president "did not care" that Cristiano Ronaldo was set to leave. He said that Bale was "better than Cristiano" and "misunderstood."
- He was set to ask Zidane to give the player another chance in the team.
- But Zidane was "offended" to discover that Perez had "changed strategy" without telling him first.
- When he next met with the club president on Wednesday, May 30, Zidane offered his resignation.
Zidane walked away following the final in Kiev and was replaced by Julen Lopetegui.
The 52-year-old coach was sacked from his role as Spain national team manager on the eve of the World Cup for accepting the position at Real without first consulting the Spanish football federation.
Madrid have struggled since the departure of Zidane and Ronaldo, who joined Juventus in the summer after nine years with Real.
The European champions haven't scored a goal in four games and Lopetegui is already under pressure amid reports he could soon be sacked.
Bale has been given a more central role in the team and has scored four goals in nine games this season.
He made it clear after the Champions League final that he wasn't happy with his role as a substitute and there were reports that he was prepared to leave if Zidane had remained at the club.