Real Madrid: Bale agent rejects "makeshift deals to get him out"
Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has told Sky Sports: "He could be gone in a day or a week. Or he could still be a Real player in three years".
Today has brought further developments in the Gareth Bale saga. Hours after Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane sought to clarify his comments about the Welshman in the wake of Saturday's defeat to Bayern Munich ("If he leaves tomorrow, so much the better"), the player's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has again taken centre stage.
On this occasion, Barnett spoke to Sky Sports and when asked whether Bale could leave Madrid on loan, offered a categorical response: "There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club. Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club."
Proposed China move hits fee stumbling block
On Sunday, following Zidane's forthright comments, Bale seemed to be headed for the Madrid exit door imminently. Now, though, his departure looks to have hit the brakes. Currently, Jiangsu Suning and Beijing Guoan are the 30-year-old's chief suitors, with The Telegraph reporting that Beijing are ready to make him the best-paid player in China by handing him a pre-tax annual salary of 52m euros.
However, with just eight days to go until the Chinese Super League transfer window closes, the issue of Bale's fee is proving a stumbling block. China's 100% tax rate on transfer fees means Jiangsu and Beijing want to sign Bale on a free, but although Madrid consider that they have recouped their investment in the player in his six years in Spain, Los Blancos need to raise funds as they seek to sign Paul Pogba.
"He could be gone in a day or a week. Or..."
"Gareth is a Real Madrid player and for now he's staying as a Real Madrid player," Barnett concluded in his interview with Sky Sports. "If something comes along that suits us, then things could change and he could be gone in a day or a week. Or he could still be a Real player in three years when his contract ends."
While Bale's future is resolved, Zidane sought to restore order to a situation that somewhat blew up in the wake of his weekend remarks in Houston. Now, it is even not being ruled out that the forward, who trained as normal yesterday, could be involved in Madrid's clash with Arsenal tonight.