Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is determined to honour the three years remaining on his current contract, despite reported interest from Manchester United.
The Welshman endured a difficult 2018-19 campaign at Santiago Bernabeu, failing to live up to the task of replacing the club’s all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus last summer.
Not only was the 29-year-old unable to fill the Portuguese star’s boots, but he also fell some way short of his usual high standards, only managing to notch eight La Liga goals in 28 games.
Zinedine Zidane returned to Madrid as head coach in May and he quickly deemed Bale surplus to requirements, which led to plenty of speculation over his future at the club.
The Sun reports that the Wales international has emerged as a possible target for Man United in recent months, but it now seems that a return to Premier League is unlikely during the current window.
According to Spanish publication AS, Bale has made a final decision on his future amid links to Old Trafford, with it his desire to stay at the Bernabeu and fight for a place in Zidane’s team.
The mercurial superstar’s existing deal does not expire until 2022 and he still feels he has a lot to offer Madrid if he can avoid persistent fitness issues next season.
This latest news might come as a blow to United fans, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the middle of a squad overhaul at the Theatre of Dreams.
The Red Devils are in need of extra reinforcements up front, due to the struggles of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez throughout last season.
Bale still has the quality and experience to have a major impact at any club in the world, but the 2019-20 campaign may be the last chance for him to prove he is still worthy of a place in Madrid’s ranks.
Should he flatter to deceive once again, fresh rumours will surely arise and United may yet rekindle their interest if they are unable to add extra firepower to their attack in the next couple of months.