- Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for £86m in 2013
- Bale has since won four trophies, including the Champions League
- Player has no intention of leaving the club and returning to England
- Manager Carlo Ancelotti and President Florentino Perez keen to keep him
- A recent fan poll indicated 54 per cent of Real Madrid fans want to sell Bale
The response from Gareth Bale’s representatives this week when consulted by Sportsmail could not have been more emphatic. Asked if it was a fair assumption that Bale would not be going anywhere soon the message was: ‘correct, and you can leave out the word “soon”’.
Bale joined Real Madrid last summer to win trophies. In just over 12 months he has won the Spanish Cup, the Champions League, the European Super Cup and the World Club Cup.
In three of those four games he scored a crucial goal and in the other he fulfilled a dream by winning a major honour in his home city, Cardiff. For Bale the move has been a massive success and he is not about get off the trophy train after only one and a half seasons.
He had the chance to join Manchester United the summer before last. Their offer came very late but was greater than Real Madrid’s and Bale could still have pulled the plug on the Spain switch and move to Old Trafford, but he chose to go ahead with the transfer to the Spanish capital and there is no desire to change course now.
Neither is there any desire to move Bale on from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. When Bale scored Real Madrid’s second goal against San Lorenzo last weekend to ensure his team won the World Club Cup club president Perez could be seen calling out ‘Bale!’ as he celebrated high in the Stade de Marrakech.
When Perez spent £86m (100m euros) on Bale last summer he was criticized for replacing the popular Mesut Ozil and that criticism intensified when Bale struggled with injury and Marca’s front page declared he was suffering from a slipped disc that would need surgery.
His gamble has been completely justified however and he is not about to let United take the player in January having beaten them to the punch less than two seasons ago.
Carlo Ancelotti and assistant coach Paul Clement would also be in complete opposition to the move. When I asked Clement about the variety of Real Madrid’s attacking options he told me last month: ‘It’s a nice position to be in. With Bale the dynamic of the team is different. It breaks quicker. It looks to penetrate in behind more.’
Bale is a major reason why Real are now so unstoppable. They have the players to pass their way through teams but Bale gives them a more direct route to goal.
With the player, the manager and the president all against any move it is difficult to see how United could prise him away from the Bernabeu. Their greatest hope could be that poll that revealed 54 per cent of supporters in favour of a sale at £120m.
Over 30,000 fans responded to Diario AS’s survey and you might have expected the club’s supporters to have been more vehement in their opposition considering all that Bale has done for the team in such a short time.
A large portion of them are one-eyed when it comes to style of play and prefer Spanish international Isco’s more subtle flicks and tricks to Bale’s power and pace. The idea of the club making a profit on Bale and then going out to buy Marco Reus appeals to some.
There is no apparent evidence of the Welshman having learned Spanish and while David Beckham also failed to speak the lingo in his four years at the club he got by with a fondness for the limelight that Bale shows no signs of developing.
That linguistic reticence has contributed to the feeling of some that he would be replaceable. But for every fan that argues a big offer should be accepted there is another who will recall the four trophies that Madrid have won since he arrived – only three were won in the three years previous – and make the case for him being kept right where he is at any price.
Bale is happy living in the ‘La Finca’ neighbourhood of Madrid close to Ronaldo and Karim Benzema the players he has formed the BBC strikeforce alongside.
The Bale, Benzema, Cristiano trio looks set to keep Real Madrid at the top of world club football for the foreseeable future. Manchester United have many obstacles to cross if they are to persuade the world and European club champions to break it up.