Saturday 22 October 2016

Gareth Bale devastated by Real Madrid's sacking of Rafael Benitez

Matt Law

Published 05/01/2016 | 14:30

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has been left devastated by the decision of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sack Rafa Benitez in a move that could place a question mark against the Welshman’s long-term future at the club.

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Benitez has been replaced by Zinedine Zidane and Bale, like a host of other Real players, is now waiting to see where he figures in the French legend’s plans.

But Bale is understood to be particularly upset by the departure of Benitez, who he was thriving under at the Bernabeu, and is likely to seek reassurances over his role moving forward.

The uncertainty at Real will not only encourage Manchester United to renew their interest in Bale but also alert Manchester City and Chelsea, who would be in the market for the former Tottenham Hotspur man.

All three clubs could afford to pay the £75million fee to land Bale and United would not currently be the favourites to sign him if he did leave Real.

Perez has been a big supporter of Bale since spending a world record £85m on the forward and backed Benitez’s plan to play him through the middle and build a team around him.

Benitez had even been preparing to sell Cristiano Ronaldo at the end of this season to further strengthen Bale’s position as the main man at Real.

Should Zidane prove that Bale is central to his plans, then the likelihood is the player would be happy to stay in Spain where he has relished life at Real.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Zidane will share the view of Benitez and his interest in Chelsea’s Eden Hazard could complicate the matter further.

Zidane has regularly reiterated his admiration for Hazard and just last month said: “I have no doubts he'll be back. After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. It is spectacular to see him play. Do I see him going to Real Madrid? I love the player, that's all I will say.”

While Chelsea have no plans to sell Hazard, they may well be prepared to sacrifice him if it meant getting Bale.

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