Jamie Jackson on 27 May 2018
Manchester City have cleared the way for Manchester United to revive their interest in Gareth Bale as the Premier League champions are not interested in signing the Welshman.
Bale could depart Real Madrid this summer after he signalled his unhappiness at being dropped by Zinedine Zidane, the head coach, for the 3-1 Champions League final victory against Liverpool in Kiev.
Bale scored Real’s winning goals after coming on as a substitute with the match at 1-1. It is understood the 28-year-old is not a potential target of the City head coach, Pep Guardiola. United, though, closely monitored Bale last summer before José Mourinho conceded he would stay at Real on the eve of United’s Uefa Super Cup defeat by the Spanish club in August.
Bale’s injury record at Real has been a factor in his losing his regular starting berth under Zidane but this is not of concern to Mourinho or United’s medical department.
The player’s representatives will have talks with the Real president, Florentino Pérez, as he remains unsure if his Champions League-winning display has convinced Zidane of his worth.
After entering as a 61st-minute replacement against Liverpool the first of Bale’s strikes was an overhead volley. Bale had scored five times in his five appearances before the final and ended the season with 21 strikes in 39 matches.
Pérez wields considerable power at Real yet whether Bale remains at the club may depend on Zidane changing the stance that he is no longer an integral part of his plans.
If Real had lost to Liverpool the 45-year-old might have lost his job and Bale’s long-term prospects at the club would have appeared brighter. Given Zidane became the first coach to secure a hat-trick of European Cups he seems unlikely now to leave.