Gareth Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett says the player is not leaving the Real Madrid even though he has not been featuring regularly for the La Liga champions in recent weeks.

The Welshman’s future at the Bernabeu has remained in uncertainty since the return of Zinedine Zidane as the head coach at the club. And just over a week ago, he infuriated the Real fans as he joked about falling asleep with a protective face mask over his eyes while watching the team’s 2-0 win over Alaves in Madrid from the stands.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Barnett said: “Gareth is fine. He has two years left on his contract.

“He likes living in Madrid, and he is going nowhere.

“He is still as good as anyone else in the team. It’s up to [Real Madrid manager] Zinedine Zidane.

“Of course there’s been interest, but there’s hardly a club in the world which can afford him.

“It’s a great loss that he’s not in the Real Madrid team at the moment, but he will not leave.”

Bale has scored more than 100 goals and won four Champions League titles at Real Madrid, but his future has been under intense scrutiny lately, owing much to his fractious relationship with Zidane.

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