Welsh winger Gareth Bale is keeping an eye on the future of Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, whose departure would open the door for him to spend a final season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Bale fell completely out of favour under Zidane, starting just 12 La Liga games in his final season, and he was shipped out on loan to Tottenham this summer, with Jose Mourinho's side paying 50% of his high wages.
It seemed to be the end for Bale in Madrid, but according to AS, the Welshman would not be against going back for one final year with Real to try and prove himself and rebuild his reputation in Spain.
That would likely only be possible if Zidane leaves. The Frenchman has long preferred other players in Bale's position and would almost certainly continue that trend, but the door could be re-opened if Zidane leaves the club.
Zidane's job was thought to be on the line when Real faced Borussia Monchengladbach earlier in December, with Los Blancos facing elimination from the Champions League, but a 2-0 victory and a subsequent 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid has eased the pressure on Zidane.
A large part of Bale's thinking is his uncertainty over whether Spurs would be prepared to make his loan permanent. He has made just three appearances in the Premier League this season, two of which were as a substitute, and there's an awareness that he will need to make a greater impact to convince Spurs to sanction another loan move or pick up his wages permanently.
This is a tricky one for Real as they are desperate to reduce their wage budget and free up some money for a huge shopping spree next summer.
PSG's Kylian Mbappe, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Rennes' Eduardo Camavinga are all on the wish list, but having to pay Bale's enormous wages next summer would make it hard to justify hefty spends on the three players.
They would prefer to see Bale leave the club once more, but permanent suitors are unlikely and they may struggle to find somebody prepared to pay even half of his wages for a loan move, which may force Real to accept a huge loss in the hope of getting a small portion of his salary off the books.
If club officials are unprepared to do that, Bale appears ready to return to Real for one last hurrah, but only if Zidane is not in the dugout.