Former Celtic striker and current pundit John Hartson has warned Real Madrid they can’t afford to force world class winger Gareth Bale out of the Spanish capital, the BBC reports.
The Welsh international traded Tottenham Hotspur for the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2013 and enjoyed a dream debut season at the club.
This season, by contrast, has been a struggle for the world’s most expensive player as a nine-game streak without a goal following by a sub-par El Clasico performance has prompted heavy criticism.
In spite of his Madrid struggles, the former Spurs hero was in buoyant mood in Israel as he helped his nation defeat their Euro 2016 qualifying rivals by a comprehensive 3-0 score-line.
Bale proved why he’s known among Premier League observers as one of the world’s best, and Hartson warns Los Blancos they face the prospect of losing him if they continue to mistreat him.
"Real Madrid have to be very careful about Gareth Bale. He could play for any team in the world and be their star. The way he is being treated by their supporters is wrong. They don't want to force him out of Spain,” the former Celtic striker warned.
"He looked happy tonight. We're a small country. We've had great players, such as Ryan Giggs, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes and Neville Southall, iconic players. Gareth Bale is that and more. He is vitally important to Wales, and he's loved and he's appreciated. When Gareth Bale is in that form, he is unplayable."
Bale has scored 12 goals and added a further five assists in 25 La Liga matches this season, Madrid’s third best performer statistically behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
The 25-year-old has often been linked with a return to the Premier League, but there are only a select few clubs who could dream of buying him owing to his likely astronomical price tag and weekly wages.