ZINEDINE ZIDANE’S decision to quit Real Madrid stems from Manchester United transfer talk, a report has claimed.
Zidane has stunned Real Madrid by leaving his post as manager after three successful years at the Bernabeu.
It leaves Los Blancos facing a summer headache with a new boss now on the list of priorities alongside keeping Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale out of Manchester United’s clutches.
Speaking at his press conference, Zidane insisted Bale and Ronaldo’s future was not behind his thinking.
But Spanish newspaper Marca says it is possible the Frenchman was swayed by talk over Bale.
United are understood to be keen to sign the 28-year-old from Real Madrid this summer.
Speaking after the Champions League final on Saturday, where he scored twice, Bale put them on red alert.
"Obviously I need to play,” he told BT Sport.
"That hasn’t happened this season for one reason or another. I was injured for five or six games and I’ve been fit ever since.
“I’ll have to sit down in the summer, discuss it with my agent and take it from there."
Bale has always had the backing of Florentino Perez - something that has prevented Zidane from selling him in the past.
And, with United now aggressively circling, the Frenchman has chosen to quit before colliding with the 71-year-old.
Marca says Zidane may also have chosen to walk away having grown exhausted by the task of managing the La Liga giants.
Perez is known to be a difficult president to work under.
The Los Blancos chief has wielded the axe regularly throughout his two spells in charge.
And Zidane, it seems, has opted to jump before being pushed.