Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reiterated that Gareth Bale will not leave the Bernabeu this summer in spite of interest from Manchester United.
Jose Mourinho publicly expressed interest in signing the Welshman earlier this month, only to later concede that he was clearly part of Zidane’s plans.
Some reports have claimed that the Portuguese, beneath the surface, remains keen on signing Bale this summer, urging the club to launch a £100m bid.
But Zidane, speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw with Valencia, noted in no uncertain terms that the 27-year-old was going nowhere this summer.
“He’s a key player in the squad,” he said.
“Gareth is Gareth. We keep working hard and we rely on Gareth, just as is the case with the other players.
“Gareth’s situation is good. He had scoring opportunities but did not convert them. We’re going to keep working on this. I can’t criticise my players, quite the contrary. I’m very happy with their work.”
Reports of a £92m bid for Bale have emanated from several Spanish outlets over the last few days but such a figure is not enough.
The United board, perhaps with an eye towards Bale’s susceptibility to injury, have been reluctant to meet Mourinho’s demands of a £100m bid.
And the truth is that the club would need to offer far more than that. Madrid don’t let their players leave cheaply and will demand around double the amount they paid for him – £85m – back in 2013.