Friday 15 December 2017

Bale set to remain the real deal

Gareth Bale (Pic: David Davies/PA Wire)
Gareth Bale (Pic: David Davies/PA Wire)

Wales manager Chris Coleman says he expects his star man Gareth Bale to stay at Real Madrid beyond the transfer window.

Bale has constantly been linked to a return to the Barclays Premier League with Manchester United understood to be willing to break the world transfer record for the Welshman's signature.

The 26-year-old - who became the world's most expensive player when he left Tottenham for Spain for £85.3million in 2013 - has often found himself vilified by Real fans when his form has dipped, but he has pledged to stay at Madrid and Coleman says he does not believe that situation will change before the transfer window closes next week.

"I don't see it happening," Coleman said when asked about Bale possibly moving back to English football.

"You never know with football but, unless something's been going on behind closed doors that none of us know about, I can't see it. The finances involved for signing a player like that are astronomical. I see the media speculation, of course, but that's a major, major deal - another world record if he was going to move."

Coleman was speaking at a press conference to announce his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel.

He had a scare this week when Bale, who has scored five of Wales' eight goals during the Euro 2016 campaign, needed a scan on a painful toe following Real's goalless draw at Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

But an X-ray revealed only bruising and Bale will be available for both games, although Liverpool's Joe Allen has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and joins fellow holding midfielders Emyr Huws and David Vaughan on the sidelines.

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