Gareth Bale's new Real Madrid deal is good news for Wales - Chris Coleman
Published 02/11/2016 | 22:36
Chris Coleman believes Gareth Bale's new Real Madrid contract is good news for Wales ahead of their crunch World Cup qualifier against Serbia.
Bale's bumper six-year Real deal ties him to the European champions until just before his 33rd birthday and makes him one of the best-paid players in world football.
The Wales forward had been regularly linked with a big-money move back to England, with Manchester United reportedly leading the chase for his services.
But Coleman is delighted the issue has been put to bed, especially with Bale due to link up with Wales next week.
"He's been linked with this club and that club, all the big clubs," Coleman said when naming his squad for the Cardiff clash with Group D leaders Serbia on November 12.
"Personally I've always known he wanted to stay there - he loves it there.
"He likes that spotlight - he's used to it now. He had a season where he was getting criticised heavily and I think he's said himself it helped him really.
"He came through that and he's not looked back, so I'm pleased he's settled. His family are settled and that's good for us.
"We all say we don't read the press but, as much as you try to block it out, it's still going to be in your thinking.
"So the fact he's settled, it's all done and dusted, is fantastic."
Bale joined Real from Tottenham for a then-world record fee of £85.3million in 2013.
The 27-year-old has been a serial winner at the Bernabeu - winning the Champions League twice as well as enjoying success in the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the Copa del Rey.
And his new deal has reportedly put him in the same pay bracket as Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Media reports have suggested Bale will now be earning in the region of £18million a year - £350,000 per week after tax.
But Coleman insists the two-time Champions League winner is worth every penny and that the deal will not distract him from p roducing his best form on the pitch.
"All those players who reach that level do so for a reason," Coleman said.
"It's a ridiculous amount of money. But what would we do if we were offered that amount?
"We're not going to say no to it. It's crazy, but it's the going rate. But he's not driven by that financial thing of earning so many millions.
"Actually what he wants is to win the Champions League again, win LaLiga, do well again with Wales, go on and get 50 goals for Wales or 100 caps.
"That's why he trains the way he trains, lives the life of an absolute 100 per cent professional footballer, a true athlete."