GARETH BALE was reportedly hooked at half-time against Juventus because he SMILED at Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is said to have lost patience with Bale’s attitude and commitment to winning a third consecutive Champions League title.
Real scraped through to the semi-finals last Wednesday when Ronaldo scored a dramatic injury-time penalty with the aggregate score locked at 3-3.
Carrying a three-goal lead from the first leg in Turin, Real found themselves on the rocks and 2-0 down at the break after a pair of Mario Mandzukic strikes.
With Bale ineffective in the opening 45 minutes, AS claim Ronaldo asked the Welshman for more aggression when they reached the dressing room.
Bale then surprised his team-mates by merely offering a grin in response to Ronaldo.
Zidane immediately called for substitute Lucas Vazquez to warm up, believing that Bale had not grasped the danger Real found themselves in.
Bale was angry at being hauled off but appears determined to fight for his future at the Bernabeu.
However, the AS report claims that Zidane is disappointed with Bale’s passive attitude and that he lost confidence in the former Tottenham star on the night of the second leg against Juve.
He was not even named on the bench for the following Liga game at Malaga and only came on for the last 20 minutes on Wednesday as Ronaldo’s late strike rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers and would be among the frontrunners should he become available in the summer.
Bale joined for £86million in 2013 as the world’s most expensive player and has won the Champions League on three occasions.