Cristiano Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus back in the summer - and reports claim the La Liga giants feel Gareth Bale has failed to step up since the player’s departure.
Cristiano Ronaldo spent nine years at Real Madrid but chose to join Juventus in the summer after growing frustrated at what he believed to be a lack of support from club president Florentino Perez.
Many expected Los Blancos to splash the cash on a marquee replacement with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and PSG duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar all linked with moves.
However, Real Madrid instead chose to replace Ronaldo internally by making Bale their talisman. The Wales international, who signed from Tottenham in 2013 and remains their most-expensive arrival of all time, was linked with a move to Manchester United but ultimately chose to stay put.
Since the summer, though, and the 29-year-old’s performances have left much to be desired.
Three goals from 13 La Liga matches is a poor return from a player who cost £86million five years ago.
And Bale was booed from the pitch as Real Madrid beat Valencia 2-0 in their La Liga showdown on Saturday.
Spanish outlet Ok Diario say, though, that issues at the club run deeper than just the supporters.
It is said Real Madrid believe that, since Ronaldo’s exit, Bale has played with a lack of motivation.
Los Blancos have a plethora of attacking talents at their disposal.
Karim Benzema, Isco, Marco Asensio, Mariano Diaz and Vinicius Junior are all capable of flourishing in their attack.
But Bale, given how he has the full support of president Florentino Perez, continues to be given the nod by manager Santiago Solari.
Ok Diario say Real are baffled at how the Wales international’s form is so dire.
And they reportedly think that, if he continues to toil, they will have no choice but to cut him loose.
One possible destination could be Juventus.
Speaking recently, the player’s agent admitted Bale enjoyed playing alongside Ronaldo at the Bernabeu.
And a reunion over in Turin is not to be ruled out.
Jonathan Barnett said: "Gareth is very happy at Real Madrid."
"But if we’re talking about the future then nothing is impossible in the transfer market."
" Ronaldo was an important loss for Real Madrid. Gareth loved playing with Cristiano, but he’s happy because he’s at a top club."
"It’s true that since CR7 arrived the foreign superstars are starting to consider Serie A and start looking at it in a different way compared to the last years."