Gareth Bale could get a second chance at Real Madrid despite being outcast by Zinedine Zidane, claims his former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
The Wales international faces a bleak future at the Santiago Bernabeu as things stand, with the current Blancos boss making it clear that the 30-year-old does not form part of his plans.
That standing was expected to deliver a transfer this summer, but no move has been made despite regular reports of interest from the Premier League and Chinese Super League.
It could be that Bale is now forced to stay put, with Redknapp airing his surprise at seeing a proven performer cast aside so suddenly by La Liga giants Real.
The ex-Spurs coach told BBC Radio Wales: "It's not been good the way it came out.
"It came out suddenly he (Bale) wasn't wanted around the place and he's not the type of lad that you would treat like that because he's not a problem.
"He's not a lad who's in the dressing room causing you problems or upsetting the rest of the spirit in the team, he's not one of them lads, so I don't know why you would treat Gareth like that. It was a bit strange."
Bale has endured injury struggles during his time in Spain, limiting him to just 79 league starts across the last four seasons.
Certain sections of the Madrid support have made him a scapegoat for recent struggles, with questions being asked of his commitment to the cause and appetite for the game.
Redknapp, though, considers the Welshman to still be one of the best in the business and would not be surprised to see the slate wiped clean by Real should they endure a tough start to the 2019-20 campaign.
He added: "Gareth's a great player and he's a great lad as well, never been a minute's problem.
"I managed him for four years and he's absolutely low maintenance, not a problem to anybody, gets on with his football, so I'm surprised really the way it's evolved at Real Madrid, surprised at how Zidane came out and suddenly said he's not wanted here.
"It wasn't the ideal way to deal with it and Gareth's not going to be pushed into or rushed into going somewhere he doesn't want to go.
"He's at a great club and you know what will happen, probably in a month or two they'll have a few bad results Real Madrid and they turn and say 'Come on Gareth we didn't mean it really and you're back in the team'."
Another British export to Madrid, David Beckham, found himself in a similar situation during his time at the Bernabeu.
He was frozen out by future England boss Fabio Capello, but worked his way back into favour and left for MLS side the LA Galaxy as a title winner in Spain.