Gareth Bale: Real Madrid making exit 'very difficult', open to Premier League return

Gareth Bale has said he would be open to leaving Real Madrid this summer, but the club "make things very difficult."

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Bale barely featured for Madrid last season, being left out of the squad entirely for their Champions League round-of-16 second leg defeat to Manchester City, as ESPN reported that his relationship with coach Zinedine Zidane had reached breaking point.

Sources have told ESPN that Madrid are keen to let Bale go, but are yet to receive a formal offer for the former Tottenham Hotspur star during this transfer window.

"If [offers from Premier League clubs] arise, it is something I'd look at for sure," Bale told Sky Sports News. "Time will tell but mainly I think the reason is that the decision is in Real Madrid's hands. I tried to leave last year but they blocked everything at the last second.

"It was a project I was excited for but it didn't materialise," he added. "There have been other instances where we have tried to go but the club won't allow it or they've done something. It's down to the club."

Bale was close to a move to China in the summer of 2019 before the deal broke down when Madrid refused to let him leave for free. The Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Wednesday that Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett was set to meet with the club to discuss his future -- but a source told ESPN those claims were "complete rubbish."

Bale is currently away on international duty with Wales ahead of their games against Finland and Bulgaria this week.

"I want to play football, I am still motivated to play football, so I guess it's on the club," he said. "They are in control of everything. I have a contract, all I can do is carry on what I am doing and hopefully something comes up. I am only 31 still but I feel I am in great shape still and feel like I have a lot to give. We will see what happens. It's in the club's hands but they make things very difficult to be honest."