Alvaro Arbeloa has urged Real Madrid not to sanction the sale of Gareth Bale in the summer and advised Zinedine Zidane to treat him with "all the care in the world" to get the best out of the forward.
The Welsh international, who moved to the Santiago Bernabeu from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013, has struggled with injuries in the last three campaigns. Since the start of the 2015/16 season, the 28-year-old has had only 48 starts to his name in the league.
Bale has had 15 starts in all competitions this season as injuries have restricted his first team appearances at the Spanish capital club. Marca reports Real have decided to put the former Premier League star on sale after the end of this season.
The former Real full-back wants Zidane to treat the ex-Southampton man with love in order to keep him at the top of his game for the remainder of this season.
"I wouldn't sell Gareth Bale. I don't think he has run out of credit, or that he's in a bad moment," Arbeloa said at a presentation of Mambo FC web series, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"If I were (Madrid coach Zinedine) Zidane, I would try to make sure everyone is at the top of their game and would treat Gareth with all the care in the world.
"He has always had (fitness) problems that have not allowed him to have continuity. At the end of the day, we will need all our players for these coming months."
Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos was reportedly unhappy following his 29 second run-out in Real's 3-1 win over Leganes. The 21-year-old midfielder joined the Champions League winners from Real Betis last summer and has struggled for regular playing time under Zidane this season.
Arbeloa has advised Ceballos not be angry and urged him to impress his manager in the training session in order to improve his chances of getting more minutes on the pitch.
"It can never be humiliation for a player to go out and help his team in any way. I went on in a final for Liverpool with six minutes left," the former Liverpool defender explained.
"Zidane might have needed to stop the clock or to stop the game and if Dani Ceballos is angry, I don't know, but I hope that he went training in good form so that the next day he can play more minutes."