Gareth Bale has told Real Madrid officials that he no longer wants to play on the right wing following a frustrating second season at the Bernabeu.
This is according to Spanish newspaper Marca, who understand Bale has no intention of playing on the right flank next season, complaining his game suffers when deployed in that position.
However, the Wales international could be forced to continue playing on the right wing if newly-appointed manager Rafael Benitez fails to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to play upfront. It's understood the three-time Ballon d'Or winner has refused to play in and around the centre-forward position because the left flank provides him with the space he needs to work his magic.
Ronaldo, now 30, is less dynamic than he once was, leading to suggestions he could be moved upfront from the start of the 2015-16 campaign. This would free him of the defensive duties he is currently required to perform but often struggles to carry out.
But it's understood the revered Portuguese winger is determined to continue playing from the left, where he has scored over 50 goals in each of the previous five seasons.
Bale could be moved to central position
It's possible that Benitez will find a new position for Bale, potentially just behind central striker Karim Benzema provided the France international stays at the Bernabeu.
Bale was deployed in a central role during his final seasons with Tottenham and flourished, but often scored his most spectacular goals when cutting in from the right flank.
It's been speculated that Benitez is ready to make Bale the main man at the Bernabeu and may consider playing the versatile former Premier League star upfront in an attempt to get the best out of him.
Real Madrid need Bale's pace
However, leaving Bale upfront would subsequently deprive Real Madrid of their quickest player. The Welshman is brilliant on the counter-attack and can get his side from one end of the pitch to the other within 10 seconds.
Bale would be extremely effective against teams that play with high defensive lines - much like Theo Walcott at Arsenal - but few teams utilise such adventurous tactics when faced with Real Madrid.
Los Blancos have made it clear to Bale and his representatives that they are not prepared to sell him this summer, even though Manchester United have reportedly called twice to submit offers in the region of €100 million.
As a result, Benitez needs to come up with a solution to fit Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema into the same starting line-up - and quickly.
Should Gareth Bale keep quiet and play where his manager tells him to - or is he right to make this surprise demand? What should Rafael Benitez do? Have your say in the comments below!
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