Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is reportedly 'on the brink of resigning' for a second time after an alleged fallout with club President Florentino Perez.
Real invested heavily in the off-season transfer window with the signings of Eder Miltao, Rodrygo, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and Eden Hazard.
But one of the reported conditions upon Zidane's return is believed to be the promise from Perez to offload Bale and acquire Paul Pogba from Manchester United.
Zidane has often declared his admiration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner and he's reported to have been identified as the central figure in the plans of Zidane's new project.
With the Premier League transfer window now shut, chances of Pogba leaving United for Los Blancos this month are slim and Bale remains within the squad after his move to China fell through.
"Not signing Pogba puts Zidane on the brink of resigning," Spanish journalist Diego Torres told the Independent.
"Zidane personally promised Pogba he would bring him to Madrid, and now he is left looking bad. This has only increased the lack of confidence between Zidane and Florentino.
"For Zidane, his project and Pogba are almost the same thing. Nothing that he was promised has really come to pass. Zidane returned as a protective shield for Florentino, but he has already fulfilled that political and social mission."
Real suffered four defeats in their seven pre-season fixtures, including an embarassing 7-3 loss to city rivals Atletico Madrid.