REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Bale and James are Zidane's transfer priorities

Zinedine Zidane would like to offload both Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez but while the Colombian has offers the Welshman is determined to see out his contract.

James y Bale, la cara y la cruz

Gareth Bale and James Rodríguez are both surplus to requirements at Real Madrid but Zinedine Zidane will face a struggle to offload the Colombia midfielder and the Wales forward this summer for different reasons. Both have completely lost the backing of the Bernabéu boss but while James is open to offers and has some on the table courtesy of Jorge Mendes, Bale is intent in seeing out his contract, which runs until June 22. 

Mendes has been in talks with Juventus and Manchester United, among other clubs, with James still a lure in terms of marketing despite returning his poorest season in terms of stats with just 680 minutes in all competitions in 2019-20, scoring once and providing two assists. However, James is out of contract next season and could be tempting for clubs in the Premier League and Serie A who are looking for cheap buys this summer as football in general tightens its belt due to the coronavirus crisis.  

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Bale determined to stay at Real Madrid 

Bale is a different matter. The Welshman has also endured a barren season, spending as much time ont he bench or out of the squad entirely as he has on the pitch with a series of injuries or simply because Zidane has not selected him. Last summer Bale was on the verge of a move to China and Zidane was more than happy to sanction it but the transfer fell through. Acorss 2019-20, Bale has scored three times and provided two assists at a rate of a goal every 232 minutes with Eden Hazard, Vinicius, Lucas Vázquez and Rodrygo preferred to differing degrees up front. 

Bale though remains determined to stay in Madrid, where he is settled and his family happy. Madrid are keen to slash €75m from the wage bill and Zidane has at least 12 players on the books that the club would be happy to let go. Bale's annual salary of €14.5m would go some wat to trimming the bill but given his injury history and the fact he will be 31 in July it could prove difficult to find a buyer.