REVEALED: Real Madrid chiefs pulled plug on Gareth Bale’s move to China because humiliating 7-3 defeat by rivals Atletico showed there had been NO improvement since demanding Zidane returned
- Real Madrid were ready to let outcast Gareth Bale leave the club this summer
- The club pulled the plug on his move to China after their 7-3 defeat to Atletico
- Zinedine Zidane must swallow his pride and accept Bale can offer something
There may be a twist or two left in the Gareth Bale tale.
He trained away from his team-mates in Madrid on Monday morning and there is a doubt over whether he will travel to Munich for the Audi Cup – but if he survives this tumultuous summer at Real it will be an achievement to match even some of the 13 trophies he has played a major part in winning in his six years in Spain.
They have forced big players out of Real Madrid before. Angel Di Maria was sent packing to Old Trafford and Mesut Ozil transferred to Arsenal.
There may be a twist or two left in the Gareth Bale tale as his transfer saga rumbles on
Even club legends such as Raul and Iker Casillas have been given little option to stay once the club wanted them gone.
But Bale has hung on. He has been able to hang on until now because club president Florentino Perez is not the one who wants him gone. Zinedine Zidane has seen Bale as someone he could use to bring in the players he wants for a long time now.
When he saw that progress in selling Bale was slow this summer he decided to go ‘all in’ on operation ‘Bale Sale’ with that explosive press conference after the friendly against Bayern Munich.
When he said he hoped Bale left the next day it wasn’t so much that any deal was close, more that he hoped he could spark some urgency.
Real president Florentino Perez (right) is not the man who wants Bale to leave the Bernabeu
Zinedine Zidane has seen Bale as someone he could use to bring in the players he wants
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett had to date done nothing to speed his player’s departure – why would he if Bale wanted to stay and had a contract until 2022?
But with Zidane declaring the Welshman’s departure could not happen soon enough he accelerated the China Super League option that had always been on the back burner simmering with little likelihood that it would reach boiling point because it would not include a transfer fee and therefore be unlikely to be given the presidential thumbs up.
At the weekend the million-pound-a-week mega-deal looked close with agreement between player and Jiangsu Suning complete.
Madrid, too, were seriously considering taking the massive financial hit – losing Bale without a transfer fee would still save them around £60m in wages.
The Welshman laughed on the bench as Real were humiliated 7-3 by rivals Atletico Madrid
The defeat showed that Bale isn’t their biggest problem and Bale can still offer something
If Bale stays then Zidane must swallow his pride with the Welshman still a threat in front of goal
But losing 7-3 to Atletico Madrid in Houston changed all that. Zidane’s biggest problem is not Bale.
His biggest problem is that no-one can make out even the most minimal improvement in Madrid since their three-time Champions League-winning manager returned.
It’s one thing to ask for complete autonomy – and that’s certainly what he was promised – but if you are not delivering it’s harder to really get what you want.
If Bale stays now then Zidane must swallow his pride, accept that despite the awful injuries record, Bale still represents a goals and assists guarantee when he plays and ought to line up in Real Madrid’s attack with Karin Benzema, Eden Hazard and Vinicius Junior.
The alternative is that he walks away. If he doesn’t get Paul Pogba, he may we’ll take the second option.