Names such as Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez have proved to be decent alternatives to come off the bench, but Los Merengues are constantly scouting the transfer market so it would not be a shock to see them making a move for another player to take the Wales star's place.
Bale has made nine appearances for Real this season, scoring three goals and assisting a further four strikes in all competitions.
"But players can go through spells when they've been out with an injury, they get referrals and then they get this, that and the other". That's how we look at it. We never take risks, we've never done that and I don't see that changing in the future.
And Bale's latest breakdown may just be the final straw for the European champions, who can't afford to be without a player they paid £85.1 million for back in 2013. With a player like Gareth, they've got a real asset when he's fit, but he's also a depreciating asset due to his current injuries, so Real wouldn't get anywhere the money they should for him.
Marcelo has continued the tradition his compatriot established before him as a marauding, thrilling presence on the left side of Madrid's defence, and on Sunday he deservedly joined Carlos in a select club.
"We haven't had dialogue with Real Madrid, but we'll speak with Gareth in the next few days and find out exactly what it is".
A new acronym is needed, and not for just for headline aesthetics.
Zidane, though, had learned his lesson about rushing players back with Bale and Raphael Varane suffering swift breakdowns after returning from injury prematurely.
"It all depends on his fitness whether he'll travel".
In the beginning of 2016, Bale's calf muscle problem reappeared and he went out for eight matches.
Neymar isn't the only big name on the Real Madrid radar, with Lyon's Nabil Fekir also being touted as a more realistic target.
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