The Sunday Times claims that Manchester United are hoping to force a move for the Welshman next summer, who moved to Carlo Ancelotti's side for £80 million in the summer after a protracted transfer saga.
It seems incredibly far-fetched that Real would dump a player after so little time to prove himself - particularly given that he has been struggling with injuries that have meant he is yet to play for Real while fully fit.
But the paper claims that Bale's woes - which saw him pulled off after an hour of Saturday night's Clasico against Barcelona - have been so bad that a move could be forced through.
"United’s calculation is that such pressures could play hard enough on Bale and Perez to leave them receptive to a summer transfer," the paper reports.
Ancelotti defended Bale after the 2-1 defeat in the Clasico, saying, "He played well and needs to look for his team-mates' runs. He didn't play badly during that hour…
"I think they are his first matches and he needs to get used to playing with his team-mates, which is normal.
"It doesn't make much difference for him to play on the right or in the middle. We started like that to put more pressure on Sergio Busquets, but after 20 minutes I changed his position to the wing to give him more room."
The Spanish press have been less understanding, however, with a lengthy piece in Marca on Sunday contrasting Bale's fortunes with those of Barcelona's big summer signing, Neymar, who was a key figure in Barca's triumph.
"It was the Brazilian who shined far more," the paper reported. "The Real Madrid player was lost, and almost invisible… The Welshman's Clasico debut left more shadow than light."
Sport took a similar line in a piece under the headline: "Neymar devours Bale in their Barca-Real Madrid debuts", calling the two players' performances "like night and day".
It seems unlikely that such dark days for Bale could convince the Welshman to end his Spanish adventure prematurely, but if things don't improve soon it won't be just United who believe that they have a realistic chance of prising him away from the Bernabeu.
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- Carlo Ancelotti
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