Tue, Jul 30, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Real Madrid block Bale’s China move

AFP, MADRID

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale controls the ball against Arsenal in their International Champions Cup match in Landover, Maryland, on Wednesday last week.

Photo: AFP

Gareth Bale’s move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning collapsed on Sunday after Real Madrid canceled the proposed deal due to wrangling over the fee, a source said.

Bale, 30, who has been in the Spanish capital since 2013, was expected to join the Chinese Super League outfit on a US$1.1 million a week three-year deal.

The source dismissed reports by Spanish daily Marca, which said the Welsh player’s family had blocked a potential move to Asia.

Marca said those close to Bale had asked his representatives to look for clubs in Europe “before definitively saying yes to Jiangsu Suning’s offer.”

The Chinese transfer window closes tomorrow.

The 77-time capped Wales international had been told by Real coach Zinedine Zidane that he does not form part of his future plans at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The former Tottenham Hotspur winger came off the bench to play half an hour in Real’s record 7-3 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in a friendly match in New Jersey on their pre-season tour of the US on Friday last week.

Zidane the previous weekend said that he thought it would be “best for everyone” if Bale’s departure could be arranged quickly — comments Bale’s agent branded “disrespectful” of a player who helped the side to a La Liga title and four UEFA Champions Leagues since arriving from Tottenham six years ago.

However, injuries have limited Bale to fewer than 80 starts in La Liga in the past four seasons, while he has been the subject of criticism in the Spanish media for his struggles with the language and even the time he had spent on the golf course.

Zidane said that he meant no disrespect before Bale came on as a substitute in last week’s 3-2 friendly victory over Arsenal, also in the US.

“He had a good game and I’m happy for him,” Zidane said. “I do not know what’s going to happen, for now he’s with us. It did not change anything.”

Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has already said that any deal which sees the Welshman leave the Bernabeu would have to be a permanent one and not one that sees him shipped out on loan.

“There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club,” Barnett said. “Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club.”

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