It's been another season in a peripheral role for the Welshman. The stand off between the forward and Real has been prevalent once again this term with Bale used fleetingly by Zinedine Zidane, all the while warming the bench and earning considerable wages to boot.
With two more seasons left on his big-money contract, the likelihood of Bale departing the Santiago Bernabeu for another club remains as faint as ever, with no side willing to muster up the necessary funding to prise him away from Los Blancos. On top of that, Bale isn't too keen on leaving.
Kroos has suggested that this wasn't the case last summer, however, indicating that the 31-year-old was happy to move elsewhere - remember that China ordeal? - but Madrid put the brakes on a departure, resulting in a degree of unrest at the club.
"There's no getting around that the situation is unsatisfying for everyone," the German told the Lauschangriff podcast, via Goal. "He certainly wasn't brought in to play as little as he does now.
"I believe that he wanted to leave last summer in principle and that the club signalled a yes at first and then not again. I don't know if he's still a bit mad about that. It's a difficult subject."
Constantly being hounded by the Spanish press, whether justifiably or not, has not helped the Welshman's case in the capital, but Kroos insisted that a lot of the criticism directed his teammate's way has been blown out of proportion and that the dressing room is tranquil.
"It's certainly not as extreme as it's made out to be," he added. "Everything is okay in the team. I've known him for six years and we've won some pretty big things together."