According to the journalist, speaking to BBC Five Live [as per Goal], Real Madrid have instructed reporters not to mention the Welsh star’s £85 million transfer fee should they have the opportunity to speak to the world-class attacker.
The reason, according to Northcroft, is because discussion of Bale’s world-record fee is understood to rile the Portuguese superstar, with Goal suggesting that Northcroft’s revelation is a telling indication of Ronaldo’s ‘obsession’ with the money the Merengues spent to sign the then-Tottenham forward.
Throughout 2015 there was regular speculation that Ronaldo and Bale were not getting on [AS via Mirror], with Rafael Benitez—the club’s now-former coach—potentially exacerbating the decision by favouring the former Spur ahead of the ex-Manchester United superstar [Telegraph].
“Real Madrid are a club so worried about image that when I interviewed Bale it was requested to me, ‘don’t put in the transfer fee, don’t put in the article how much Gareth Bale cost’,” Northcroft began, as relayed by Goal.
“The reason for that is because it was a world-record transfer fee but Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t like to see that someone else cost more than him.”
It remains to be seen what impact Real’s decision to offload Benitez and replace him with club legend Zinedine Zidane [BBC Sport] will have on the futures of both Bale and Ronaldo.
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According to the Daily Mail, the exit of Benitez could unsettle the Welshman, prompting him to consider his future in the Spanish capital.
The ex-Liverpool coach’s last match with Los Blancos was a 2-2 draw with Gary Neville’s Valencia on Sunday, a match in which Bale himself grabbed a late header, which ultimately wasn’t enough to secure the win.