Former Real Madrid striker Predrag Mijatovic doubts Gareth Bale can recapture his best form at Los Blancos as the Welsh star continues to be linked with a move away.
Bale – who was jeered by Madrid fans in Sunday’s 3-2 win over lowly Huesca – was dropped to the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Valencia on Wednesday.
The former Tottenham winger is tipped to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, where his perceived failure to integrate with his team-mates off the field has been criticised.
While optimistic over Marcelo’s future, Mijatovic – who won LaLiga and the Champions League during his time in the Spanish capital – was more sceptical about Bale.
“Marcelo is the vice-captain, he has spent many years at Real Madrid and he is the best left-back in history after Roberto Carlos,” Mijatovic told Radio Marca.
“This year he had a bad season, that can happen to anyone, but he is a player that can recover his form.
“He can surely offer many things in the next few years, but I am not sure about Bale.
“He has had fewer years than Marcelo at the club, he is suffering, and I have the feeling that he has yet to adapt 100 per cent to Spanish life.”
Back at the helm for his second spell in charge, head coach Zinedine Zidane – who quit last season following a third consecutive Champions League title – is expected to oversee a squad overhaul.
Paris Saint-Germain and France sensation Kylian Mbappe is reportedly at the top of Madrid’s list of targets as they try to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo, having failed to defend their European crown and fallen 13 points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona.
“Real Madrid and their fans would fancy having Mbappe one day, and he can surely go to Madrid, but you have to consider many things,” he added. “I think that it would be impossible for this summer, but you never know.
“From my experience with Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing, you have to work on that [preparing for a big signing] beforehand. You can’t start in April and expect the player to arrive in July.”
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