Will Bale Outlast Zidane At Real Madrid?5 min read
One of the transfer soap operas of the summer took another turn over the weekend as, apparently, Florentino Perez blocked Gareth Bale’s proposed move to Chinese Super League side, Jiangsu Suning.
The deal would’ve seen the Welshman become the first €1m a week player in football history and would also surely have provided a shot in the arm for the game in the region.
Far too many players have realised that playing in China isn’t for them and have quickly returned to European football. However, with a standard bearer like Bale in situ, it absolutely changes the landscape and the status quo.
Perez’s meddling has certainly had implications as it’s been reported that both Bale and Zinedine Zidane are furious that the president has taken it upon himself to scupper the deal.
It’s alleged that the reason is because he still sees the winger as a vital component in a struggling Los Blancos side.
One only had to witness his impact in the debacle against Atletico Madrid to understand Perez’s point. Real were losing 6-1 at the time, but in the time Bale was on the pitch they ‘won’ 2-1, losing the game 7-3 overall.
It’s a preposterous scoreline, even for a pre-season friendly, and it piles the pressure on Zizou despite his protestations to the contrary.
Real have had an appalling pre-season thus far, with the old guard of players who served the Frenchman so well at the beginning of his tenure doing little or nothing to enhance their claims for a starting spot.
When Zidane came back to the club in the wake of Santiago Solari’s sacking, there was genuine belief that a ‘new’ manager bounce would occur and this season would finally see Los Blancos rip Barcelona’s dominance to shreds.
Nothing of the sort has occurred and, in fact, a number of players seem so certain of their places and the lack of competition therein, that they’re coasting through matches.
Against a hungry, focussed and determined side like Atleti, that attitude was brutally exposed.
At this juncture, whether he likes it or not, Zidane needs Bale a lot more than the latter needs the former.
According to the Welshman’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, the pair don’t have a relationship and never have had because, simply put, Zidane just doesn’t like the player.
For the good of the club, the World Cup winner needs to swallow his pride and rein his ego back in just a little – or else it could be him and not Bale who’s first out of the exit door.