GARETH BALE could spend the season at Real Madrid without kicking a ball.
But last night boss Zinedine Zidane insisted the out-of-favour star was NOT being disrespectful by playing golf as his team-mates lost 1-0 to Spurs in the Audi Cup on Tuesday.
Bale, whose £1million-a-week move to China is dead and buried as their transfer window closed yesterday, does not want to play for Zidane again.
And legend Zizou has made it clear he will never select Bale as long as he is Bernabeu boss.
The Welshman, 30, who has three years left on his £650,000-a-week deal, will not leave on loan or take a pay cut.
Bale looks unlikely to move this summer so may end up sitting out the new season unless either his camp or Real perform a U-turn.
He did not travel to Munich for the Audi Cup.
Despite Zidane saying Bale was ill, the player told Real that, mentally, he was in no condition to play following president Florentino Perez pulling the plug on his transfer to Jiangsu Suning.
But Bale was snapped relaxing on the fairway as his team-mates were losing to his old club Spurs — with Real fans and the Spanish media piling in and branding him “disrespectful”.
Zidane, speaking after Real’s 5-3 win over Fenerbahce in yesterday’s third-place play-off at the Allianz Arena, said: “I don’t know anything about that, I’ve not seen the picture so I can’t say much about that.
“I hope he’s working well and we will see when we get back.
“I’m not going to tell him off or that he’s not allowed to do it — he’s old enough to do what he wants.
“It’s his private life, it’s not something I judge.”