The Wales winger and his representative have offered contradictory opinions on his next move in recent weeks
Former Real Madrid boss John Toshack has offered some blunt words of wisdom to Gareth Bale: forget about your agent and make your own mind up.
Bale left Madrid for Tottenham on loan at the start of 2020-21, but he has failed to convince on a regular basis with his performances back in the Premier League.
And with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane reluctant to welcome him back, the Wales international faces an uncertain future – a situation which has not been helped by agent Jonathan Barnett’s recent public comments.
What was said?
“Often, it is not the player who is being controversial,” Toshack pointed out to Goalwhen asked about his fellow Welshman.
“You think that they represent footballers’ interests, but those of us in the world of football know that they often do more harm than good to their players.
“When a footballer used to tell me that their agent had said whatever, I always told them: ‘I don’t want to know what your agent said. I want to know what you think. I want to talk to you. No agents’.
“When a player reaches a certain age and only has one year of contract left, there are players who start to make noises. I would tell Bale: ignore your agent and make your mind up yourself.”
The bigger picture
Barnett has made the headlines on several occasions with his opinions on Bale’s struggles at Tottenham and short-term future.
Most recently, he seemed to contradict his client, stating that Bale’s affirmation that he would return to Madrid once his Spurs loan ended was “taken completely out of context” and that it was “too early” to make a decision.
The winger later clarified that “Going into next season legally my contract says I have to go back to Real Madrid which is what I stated.”
Barnett has also risked conflict with Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, suggesting in February that any questions over the lack of minutes Bale has played should be directed to the manager rather than him.
Toshack added to Goal: “If you have a contract, you fulfil that contract. But I understand that it is a complicated situation.
“I always tried to talk to my players. I didn’t care about what the president, or a director said, no.
“You have to speak to the player. But that has changed a lot. Now coaches talk very little.”