Gareth Bale is ready to dig-in at Real Madrid until the Chinese Super League market re-opens in November, or until there is a change in coach at the club.
The theory that the latter could happen before the former, was strengthened by another pre-season defeat which made Real Madrid's - according to the average points-per-game tallies totted-up by Diario AS on Monday - the worst pre-season of any of the 20 La Liga sides this summer.
Bale watched patiently from the sidelines last night as Real Madrid laboured against Roma. When he finally came on with 30 minutes left he was Zinedine Zidane's third change. He knows that is as good as it is going to get this season for as long as Zidane is in charge.
He will be, at best, on the bench, and watching players such as 19-year-old Vinicius or new signing Luka Jovic get minutes ahead of him.
But the coach who has made him a near outcast at the club is on very shaky ground after one of the worst pre-seasons in recent memory at the club.
Madrid let-in 18 goals in seven friendlies and only won two games. 'Zidane is a mess' read one headline in Marca, after, in the final warm-up match of the summer, the coach started with a back three and wing-backs, and finished with a 4-4-2.
Madrid are a 'sea of doubts' said Diario AS, also highlighting the tactical indecision of a coach who has failed to improve the team since he took over last March.