Tuesday 27 June 2017

Gareth Bale not for sale as he targets new role

Gareth Bale performs his trademark celebration after scoring against his former club Tottenham in Real Madrid’s 2-0 friendly victory
Gareth Bale performs his trademark celebration after scoring against his former club Tottenham in Real Madrid’s 2-0 friendly victory

Matt Law

Gareth Bale insists he is ready to win more trophies with Real Madrid after being restored to what he feels is his best position by new manager Rafael Benitez.

The news will come as a blow to Manchester United and any other clubs who may have still harboured hopes of luring Bale back to England.

Benitez demonstrated his faith in Bale by playing him as a central striker against Tottenham Hotspur in the Audi Cup and the Welshman responded with a goal against his former club.

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both ruled out with injuries, Bale took his chance to shine with both hands by scoring Real's second goal in their 2-0 victory over Spurs in Munich.

Benitez and Real president Florentino Perez have both assured Bale he is vital to the club's plans.

"I am confident anyway, but it's great to have the support of the manager and the president, and, hopefully I can repay them now with goals and trophies," said Bale, who won the Champions League in his first season at Real but suffered a more difficult second campaign.

Bale is confident his third season at Real will lead to more success. The Tottenham fans used ironically to chant that he plays on the left, but the 26-year-old, who moved to Spain for a world-record £85m fee in 2013, disagrees.

"I have spoken to the manager about playing through the middle," said Bale.

"I'm able to go out to the left, the right and the centre, which is what I was doing at Tottenham and what I do at Wales, and that's where I play my best football so it's something I'm enjoying. It's where I want to play."

Benitez has reiterated that he wants Bale to stay, along with Arsenal target Benzema.

"There is a lot of speculation about our players, about Gareth and about Karim," said Benitez. "Our players are doing well. We are happy with them and, hopefully, everyone will continue here and we can win the league."

In terms of Bale's new role through the middle and where Ronaldo fits into his plans, Benitez added: "Those players that play up front have the freedom to move around as they want and use Cristiano Ronaldo as well as they can and also Gareth Bale.

"I think that he (Bale) knows what he has to do and what we want to achieve, and the team has to be psychologically better and more precise, but they will do that."

Telegraph.co.uk

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