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Friday 15. March 2019 - 10:51

Gareth Bale Wants Real Madrid Stay, Says Agent

Gareth Bale's agent has said the winger "wants to play all his career" at Real Madrid, despite suggestions Zinedine Zidane's return to the club could spell the end of his days at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale and Zidane didn't enjoy a completely harmonious relationship during the manager's first stint, but Jonathan Barnett appeared on BBC 5 Live Sport's Football Daily podcast and said his client wants to retire at Real.

Barnett said: "He wants to play all his career for Real Madrid. If it doesn't work out, we will talk again. He is very happy. He will talk with Zinedine Zidane, and we will go from there. If you let him play how he wants to play, and have a run of games, he can be right up there."

Barnett confirmed the pair didn't see eye to eye when Zidane was previously in charge, adding: "Gareth wanted to play one way and Zidane wanted him to play another. Over the period of time it just got worse."

Spanish football expert Guillem Balague recently wrote for BBC Sport that Zidane "does not want to work with Bale," but the specifics of his situation mean a buyer will be difficult to find. Bale will turn 30 in July, is on very high wages and has struggled with injuries over the past few years.

The 29-year-old signed his current contract in October 2016 and earns £350,000 per week after tax, according to the Guardian's Ed Aarons.

Bale also failed to feature prominently under Zidane's predecessor, Santiago Solari, who was sacked to make room for the return of their old manager, who left the club in May 2018.

Paul Hirst of The Times wrote that Bale appeared intent on mending the links between him and Zidane, though he didn't appear to hold high hopes for the Welshman's future beyond this campaign.

Finding a buyer willing to meet Real's asking price of the player could prove difficult depending on how much of their £85 million investment Los Blancos realistically wish to recoup.

The former Tottenham Hotspur talisman has a little more than three-and-a-half years remaining on his current contract and has a chance of winning some of the biggest titles available with Los Blancos.

Journalist Richard Hall discussed some of the complexities of selling Bale during a recent appearance on Love Sport Radio.

Zidane will make his official return to the Real helm at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday, which could be Bale's first chance to impress the new manager in his second dugout debut.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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