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Bale exit likely but Mourinho may make Real Madrid return, says Calderon
Gareth Bale has shown a “lack of commitment” to Real Madrid and will likely leave at the end of the season but Jose Mourinho may make a sensational return, according to former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon.
Wales forward Bale has endured a torrid time at the Santiago Bernabeu in recent weeks, finding himself consigned largely to a bit-part role by head coach Santiago Solari and the focus of heavy criticism from the stands.
Madrid’s season has unravelled in the space of three games, with back-to-back Clasico defeats to Barcelona ending their Copa del Rey and LaLiga title chances, while a humiliating 4-1 home loss to Ajax on Tuesday saw the three-time defending champions crash out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.
With Madrid likely to make significant changes in the close-season, Bale – who has won four Champions League titles with the club – faces an uncertain future in the Spanish capital and Calderon believes only one outcome is likely.
“It’s true that he wasn’t the leader people expected here after Cristiano [Ronaldo’s] departure,” Calderon told Sky Sports News.
“He showed a lack of commitment. People are not happy – they saw how he shrugged off his team-mates when they went to celebrate a goal with him in [the] LaLiga match [against Levante] and also [his] injuries.
“It’s a pity. I don’t see him here next season unfortunately.”
Earlier this week, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett labelled his client’s treatment from Madrid’s supporters as a “disgrace” and said they should be “kissing his feet”.
Barnett also denied reports that Bale has failed to learn Spanish and has a disconnect with his team-mates, but Calderon was unimpressed with his comments.
He added: “I think he doesn’t know that the fans that go to the Bernabeu are very respectful, but also are very demanding and mainly with two things. The main one, lack of commitment, is what they have seen in Gareth Bale.
“He’s left the stadium during a few matches before those matches had finished. That behaviour with the team-mates, also that he doesn’t speak the language, are some facts which give the fans the idea that he’s not really committed with the club.
“That’s something the fans are condemning and that’s why he’s the one to blame for that, at least that’s what the fans think.”
Bale is not the only one with a future shrouded in doubt at the Bernabeu, with Solari coming under increased scrutiny after Madrid’s tumultuous week.
Former boss Mourinho, who led the club between 2010 and 2013, has been tipped with a return and Calderon believes the Portuguese – sacked by Manchester United in December – has already been approached.
“I have no doubt Mourinho is the first option for the president. He’s been called in the last weeks,” Calderon said.
“It was when Zinedine Zidane left, Mourinho was with Manchester United and he said it was not the right moment to come back, but maybe now he’s free. “I think there will be many chances he will be on that bench next season.”