The Welshman was left red-faced as an unused substitute as Real Madrid’s wretched season ended with a 2-0 defeat at home to Real Betis.
The Frenchman refused to give the 29-year-old a chance to say farewell, which saw the forward head straight down the tunnel at full-time despite the players taking part in a lap of honour.
Zidane made it clear after the defeat that Bale doesn’t have a future at the club.
“I’m sorry he didn’t get to play, but no-one knows what will happen,” he said.
“If I think a player doesn’t fit in the team I have to do what I think works best.
“No-one can change what Bale has done for the team, but as a coach I have to live in the present.”
Gareth Bale has mustered just eight La Liga goals in 29 appearances in what has perhaps been the most disappointing campaign of his career.
Zidane even claimed that he would not have brought on Bale, even if he had a fourth substitute to rub salt in the wounds.
“He [Bale] has won a lot here but we live for the present and the future. We will not forget the past but we have to live for the day today,” he added.
“I have counted on other players in more in recent weeks, and if I had a fourth substitute today I would not have brought him on.
“I make these decisions when it is right to do so, and I must act in the best interests of the team at all times.”
Manchester United are just one of the clubs that have been linked with offering Bale a return to the Premier League.
If they are seriously considering weighing up a move then these comments will offer them encouragement that he’ll be available this summer.
His £350,000-a-week wages may prove a stumbling block for any potential buyer though, particularly United who have paid the price for making Alexis Sanchez their highest paid player.
Now that the season has been completed, Bale is expected to sit down with his agent to discuss his future which maybe away from the Bernabeu.