Gareth Bale continues to see his future at Real Madrid called into question, but he does figure prominently in the reveal of the club’s new home kit for 2019-20.
The current transfer window is hardly the first to have sparked exit talk around the Wales international.
Speculation has, however, been stepped up.
A return to the Premier League has been mooted for the 29-year-old forward, with a second spell at Tottenham or a switch to Manchester United considered to be the most likely options.
Bale’s representatives have, however, stated on a regular basis that he has no desire to leave Madrid.
He is tied to a lucrative long-term contract and intends to see that agreement through.
Regular hints from Zinedine Zidane, including leaving Bale out of his matchday plans, have countered that argument.
Real, though, have suggested that a big-money asset will be sticking around in the material used to promote their latest strip.
Bale’s presence could be taken as an indication of an extended association with Real.
Kit launches are, however, no guarantee of players being retained.
Eden Hazard fronted up Chelsea’s campaign when revealing their home shirt for 2019-20, but he is now edging towards the exits at Stamford Bridge.
It could be that he is acquired by Madrid to help cover the supposed struggles of Bale.
Goal has revealed that a deal is close to completion, with Hazard having made no secret of his desire to secure a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
His presence would be expected to nudge Bale even further down the pecking order.
That may force him to reconsider his options, with regular calls for him to seek a new challenge away from a club that seemingly lacks faith in his ability having already been aired.
Former Spurs and United star Teddy Sheringham is among those to have urged Bale to walk away from his deal in Spain, telling Betstars: “Gareth Bale will be saying what a lot of the Manchester United players will say this season, with a cigar in his mouth sitting in the corner of the dressing room: ‘Well, give me my money and I'll go then, otherwise I'm not going anywhere because I signed a long-term contract’.
“I don't think it is a war that Gareth Bale is going to win.
“If I came in to contact with Gareth Bale and had to give him some advice, I would say: ‘Get yourself out of there. Don't worry about the £30 million that you're meant to be earning over the next two years. You will enjoy your life a lot more if you get out of Real Madrid and play football for a club that you want to play for and that's going to love you’.
“I think he would be a good acquisition for any of the top clubs in England and I think they will all be after him because he's a game-changer.”