Gareth Bale's situation at the Santiago Bernabeu appears to be getting worse after Spanish reports credited an unnamed Real Madrid star questioning the commitment of the former Tottenham hero to the team, while saying he "doesn't defend just because he doesn't want to".
The Welshman has been under pressure ever since Los Blancos agreed to pay a world-record fee of £89m (£131m) to Spurs to secure his services in summer 2013.
It looked like his goals in last terms Copa del Rey and Champions League finals could help him overcome the situation ahead of the current campaign but the scrutiny this season has intensified.
The Spanish press seems to criticise Bale on a weekly basis, Real Madrid fans have whistled in fury at him in a number of games, and earlier in 2015, even Cristiano Ronaldo publicly expressed his anger with the ex-Spurs star after he opted to shoot instead of passing the ball in the win against Espanyol.
They have all accused Bale of being a "ball-hog" and claim he is not committed when it comes to defending, the latter an accusation also aimed at Ronaldo and Karim Benzema when the team plays in the 4-3-3 formation.
Following the 3-4 defeat against Schalke on 10 March, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was forced to come out and defend Bale, while claiming the press were to blame for his situation.
"Gareth Bale is one of best players in the world and the most important team in the world fought for his services. His problem comes from press always being against him," Perez said at a press conference. "The only thing I can say is that we shouldn't forget what he was able to achieve in his first year at Real Madrid."
Perez tried to protect Bale and urged the media to stop the campaign against him but it looks like his message has not hit the target as Marca, on 13 March, published a number of reports questioning Bale and his nine-game goal drought.
The Spanish newspaper says Perez is trying to protect Bale because he wants the former Tottenham hero to become the long-term replacement of Ronaldo. However, Marca claims Real Madrid's players cannot see that happening and blamed him for the current crisis.
According to the report, when questioned about that, an unnamed current member of the squad stated: "There's only one Cristiano. Bale is a great player, but he doesn't win you matches on his own."
The unnamed player also questioned Bale's commitment, saying: "He doesn't defend because he doesn't want to."
Marca says Perez asked Ronaldo and vice-captain Sergio Ramos to integrated Bale with the rest of the squad but claimed he "shows little interest in adapting, with a greater focus on playing golf than getting to know his teammates".