Gareth Bale "gave up fighting" for a place at Real Madrid, according to former Los Blancos striker and director of football Predrag Mijatovic.
Bale is the subject of much transfer speculation, with the Wales star – signed by Madrid for what was a world-record fee in 2013 – seemingly set to return to Tottenham.
On Thursday (AEST), Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett confirmed that talks were ongoing between Spurs and Madrid. There has also been reported interest from Manchester United.
Mijatovic believes the 31-year-old, who made just 20 appearances last season having slipped far down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane, stopped pushing for a place in the side.
However, he is unsure who is to blame for a breakdown in the relationship between Bale and Zidane.
"Madrid get rid of a problem with Bale. For him it is also important to play, and he will achieve it," Mijatovic said on Cadena SER.
"The relationship with Zidane was bad and he gave up fighting. I don't know who the culprit is. Bale can play football, but not at Real Madrid.
"You have to know what goes through his head to know if he is guilty. Surely one day he will give an interview where he tells us how he has spent these seven years.
"Madrid want to have a small squad with fewer disgruntled players. It is a logical strategy. It is an atypical year, but the club is going to fight for all the competitions."
During his time with Madrid, Bale has helped the side to two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey success and four Champions League triumphs – scoring vital goals in the 2013-14 and 2017-18 finals.