Speculation has consistently linked Real Madrid star Gareth Bale with an exit from the Bernabeu, but his agent has rubbished such reports.
The 28-year-old has made a positive impact this season, scoring 14 goals and providing eight assists in 31 appearances in all competitions.
However, he has struggled to cement his place in Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up, as evidenced by the fact that he has been left out of the XI for recent crunch Champions League games.
That will have been a major blow for the 28-year-old on a personal level as he’ll be desperate to feature more prominently and consistently, but that has undoubtedly been a factor in the ongoing speculation linking him with an exit.
His agent, Jonathan Barnett, has now hit out at rumours suggesting he will leave this summer, insisting that both parties are happy with each other despite claims stating otherwise.
“Gareth is a Real Madrid player and loves Real Madrid and Real Madrid love Gareth,” Barnett told ESPN FC. “All this talk about leaving is written by reporters who have no idea what is going on and who need to write something and don’t care if it is true or not.”
The Evening Standard note specifically how Man Utd and Chelsea are two clubs who have been regularly linked with the former Tottenham man, and so this will come as a potential blow for them if they harboured hopes of prising him away from the Spanish capital at the end of the season.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if that stance changes this summer if Bale hasn’t forced his way into Zidane’s plans on a regular basis between now and then, as he’s too talented and has plenty left in the tank to give to be limited to an almost bit-part role.
Competition is fierce at Real Madrid, but Bale will be hoping to push his way up the pecking order and prove that he is still a fundamental part of Los Blancos’ plans for the future.