Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has again stated his desire to remain in Spain and has no plans to return to The Premier League after the latest round of rumours linking him with a transfer to Manchester United.
The Welshman was seen by many as a major culprit in the defeat that Real Madrid suffered at the hands of arch-rivals Barcelona at the weekend as the pressure on Bale and his boss, Rafa Benitez, continues to mount.
But Bale has told The BBC that he’s in for the long haul:
“My plan when I first started playing was to try to reach the pinnacle – and Real is the pinnacle,”
“I am enjoying my time here. Now I’m here, I want to win trophies and to win titles, and just do the best I can for my career.
He did give Manchester United fans a glimmer of hope for the future by saying:
“I will never say never when it comes to going back to the Premier League, because you don’t know what the future holds.”
But he is also clearly happy that he has been given centre stage by his new coach.
“I had conversations with Rafa in the summer and I am delighted about where I am going to be playing this season,”
“I like the role behind the striker and feel that’s my position….
Firstly, while we think he’s a fabulous player, we believe he is a far stronger winger than a number 10. His pace, power and athleticism definitely trumps his vision – arguably the most important attribute of a top playmaker who sits in the hole.
But Bale has the engine to get up and down either flank all day and ping in great crosses as well as cutting in and getting shots off.
Secondly, we do believe that it’s a matter of time before the 26-year-old returns to The Premier League.
Rafa Benitez already resembles a man who is fighting a losing battle with the fans and the club and Real Madrid are notoriously ruthless when it comes to their coaches.
If Benitez is replaced we wonder whether the next coach will see Bale as the main man or whether the team is built around Cristiano Ronaldo, as it should be.
These two don’t seem to enjoy the telepathy that many Real Madrid partnerships of the past have and it may well turn out to be a case of either/or with Bale and Ronaldo, in terms of Real Madrid’s future.
There is no reason why two such good players can’t gel. But both seem to want to play centrally and perhaps it’s combination that will never thrive.
All this has lead to fevered speculation that one will return to cash rich Manchester United in the summer.