The Welshman earns €15m a year in the Spanish capital and is the club's highest-paid player.
Madrid would like to get him off the wage bill, while the player himself his stated his desire to move somewhere where he will get game time, having been exiled by coach Zinedine Zidane.
But the main problem is that reports from Spain suggest that Madrid have yet to receive an approach this summer because Bale is standing firm on his salary; he will not lower his demands and therefore no rival club have the capacity to pay him.
A return to Tottenham would be a a desired move for the 31-year-old, who has been in Spain for the past seven years following his record move in 2013.
But given Spurs' new stadium they are working on tighter spending restrictions than ever before, and Jose Mourinho would rather look to strengthen other areas of his team first.
Former suitors in China have also gone cold after the move did not happen last summer, while a move to MLS, potentially with David Beckham's Inter Miami, would likely need to wait a few years yet.
As a result Bale is stuck, with no chance of rekindling his career under his Zidane, and no real way out of the Santiago Bernabeu.