Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has endured a difficult second campaign at Real MadridGetty Images

Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, made a trip to Madrid earlier in May to meet with Real Madrid officials in order to learn first-hand whether the club want to sell the player, reports in Spain claim.

The former Tottenham star has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League to play for Manchester United after falling out of favour at the Santiago Bernabeu during his second season in La Liga.

Having joined from White Hart Lane in the summer of 2013 for a record £89m deal, the Welshman provided 19 assists and scored 22 goals in his first season at Real Madrid, including one each in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League final.

But Bale has failed to replicate those stats this season, where he has netted 17 goals and provided 12 assists despite having had more playing time.

Bale's agent recently increased the speculation about his unhappiness at Real Madrid by blaming his team-mates about the situation.

"Real have to work with Gareth and pass the ball to him more. Give him more of the ball and let him show everybody what he's good at. He's going to be the best player at Real Madrid when his teammates work with him and help him. Hopefully Real will come to terms with this," Barnett said to The Telegraph.

And while rumours of a potential move to Old Trafford have since increased, Spanish newspaper AS revealed Barnett was been forced to make an unexpected trip to Madrid to learn first-hand whether Real Madrid want to sell Bale this summer.

Bale
Gareth Bale may leave Real Madrid this summerAS

The reports claimed he met with club president Florentino Pérez on 20 May to discover the club's intentions, with Bale and Barnett wanting to know as soon as possible so they can, if necessary, consider other options.

AS claims that even though Real Madrid sources confirmed the meeting with Bale's agent, they point out they were not discussing his potential sale but analysing the season instead.

However, the Spanish newspaper insists they talked about Bale's future as Barnett normally only travels to Madrid when the matter is of high importance.

And AS claims that if Real Madrid do decide to part ways with the player, United will be the main candidate to secure his services.