Gareth Bale has become “the whipping boy” at Real Madrid, says Dimitar Berbatov, with the former Tottenham star told to consider a Premier League return after taking “the blame for everything that goes wrong”.
The Wales international moved to Spain in 2013 as part of a record-breaking transfer.
He enjoyed a productive debut campaign at Santiago Bernabeu and has continued to collect major honours on a regular basis – including the Liga title and four Champions League crowns.
Questions have, however, been asked of his form and fitness over recent years, with the 29-year-old unable to steer clear of the treatment table.
He has become a scapegoat for many in Madrid, while even his own team-mates – such as Thibaut Courtois – have suggested that he is not fully integrated into the Blancos squad.
Berbatov, who played alongside Bale during his time at Spurs, believes a second spell in England would benefit a proven performer, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United credited with interest.
“Another rumour doing the rounds this week has been a Premier League return for Gareth Bale and that would be great for everyone here,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“Bale seems to get the blame for everything that goes wrong at Real Madrid, which is unfair. If you look at his stats he is still performing, but he is the whipping boy for some reason.
“And, as a player, if you don’t feel appreciated, then you have to move on.”
Quizzed on where Bale could end up, Berbatov added: “Where would he go? It’s a question of money first of course – I’m not sure Spurs can afford over £100m on a player – but Bale is a world-class talent who could play for anyone and it would be great to see him back.”
Bale was able to make an important contribution to the Madrid cause on his most recent outing.
He stepped off the bench to convert a match-winning penalty against Levante.
Certain team-mates were, however, shrugged off during a subdued celebration, with that taken as another hint that all is not well in the Spanish capital.
Santiago Solari has sought to play down such talk, with Real’s boss welcoming the angry reaction of a player not happy with an impact role, but transfer gossip appears destined to linger through to the summer.