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“Bale is not going anywhere”

“Bale is not going anywhere”

Denis Doyle

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A source close to the player has told AS that Gareth Bale is not planning to leave Real Madrid this summer, despite the stand-off between player and club.

Real Madrid’s last league match against Betis last Sunday kick-started a situation that seems likely to be tense for much of the summer.

Contract situation

Madrid wants Gareth Bale to leave the club but the Welshman is comfortable in the Spanish capital. He has three more years left on his contract (after he signed an extension until 2022 two years ago) and a salary of 14.5 million euros net per season. And, as is logical and as all footballers do when they no longer are wanted, he will be determined not to move on for a euro less.

Bale wanted his farewell against Betis

Bale wanted to say goodbye to Madrid fans against Betis on Sunday. It has been six intense seasons for him at the club, even though he has only played 53 percent of the total minutes since he arrived. The Welshman feels that he has had some important moments, such as his sprint from the halfway line against Bartra in the Copa del Rey final against Barça in 2014, the goal in extra time against Atlético in Lisbon and his two goals in Kiev against Liverpool.

Following that brace against Liverpool in the Champions League final and with the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in July, Bale was tipped to step into the leader’s role, but that scenario has not materialized.

Punishment

What Bale has not grasped is Zidane’s punishment over the past few weeks, which him saw left him out of the squad entirely in the previous two games, before having to live with the shame of being an unused substitute against Betis, where he was not afforded even ten minutes to say his goodbyes to the fans.

Nobody knows what the crowd’s reaction at the Bernabéu would have been had Zidane sent Bale to warm up. But the Welshman was waiting for sincere applause. And Zidane’s decision to not play him in that final game has not gone down well with either the footballer or those in his camp.

When a source close to the player was asked if the decision was a measure of Zidane’s resolve to make him see that he no longer has a place in the team, the blunt response was: “Bale is not going anywhere.” This stance, of course, could very well be a ploy to make sure he is sold at the best price.

Bale’s best option: the Premier League

No formal offer has arrived for Bale at the Bernabéu. His agent, Jonathan Barnett, has had some approaches, but nothing serious. But it is in the Premier League where the Welsh striker continues to have a better image. In addition to Manchester United (from whom Madrid want to buy Paul Pogba), there is another option for the Welshman: a return to Tottenham where he would even be guaranteed Champions League football next season.

Madrid wants to collect between 70 and 80 million euros for him. However, the club may be willing to facilitate his free transfer only if it is to save the 14.5 million euros net per year that it will have to pay him over the next three years.