The agent of Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has moved quickly to squash rumours that the world’s most expensive player is to be sold by the world’s richest club.
Reports have emerged that Real Madrid are prepared to sell Bale due to the player’s persistent injury problems, with reporter Manu Sainz of AS saying that patience at the Santiago Bernabeu is wearing thin with a player who has managed to appear in less than 44 percent of Real Madrid’s games during the current campaign.
Since joining Madrid in what has widely been reported to be a world record fee from English Premier club Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, Bale has only managed to appear in 63 percent of Madrid’s total playing time after suffering 11 separate injuries. Fears are growing in the Spanish capital that Welshman Bale is turning into a new Arjen Robben, who suffered through an injury plagued spell at Madrid before enjoying a successful period with German champions Bayern Munich.
If his rumoured transfer fee and wages are accurate, then Bale has cost Real Madrid the princely sum of 750,000 euros every time he has entered the pitch for Real. The cost did not seem so excessive while he guided the team to success securing La Decima, when Real Madrid won the European Championship for a record tenth time, but the trophies have dried up and Bale endured a difficult second season with the club which saw Madrid’s notoriously fickle fans turn on Bale as they lost out to arch rivals Barcelona in the league and in Europe.
However Bale’s agent, Jonathon Barnett, has rubbished claims that his star client will be leaving Madrid in the near future, launching a scathing attack on the reports coming from Spain. Sky Sports reports that Barnett said “It’s a completely rubbish story made by an irresponsible and totally ill-informed journalist.”
Gareth Bale himself has repeatedly said he is happy at Madrid, and he has no intention of leaving the team while he still has a contract with them. Although in football nothing is certain, Bale’s desire to stay at Madrid seem likely to secure his position there for the short term, at least. The fee for the Bale is reported to have been in the region of £85 million, beating the previous record that was also set by Real Madrid when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for £80 million in 2009. Madrid have persistently denied that the Bale transfer was higher than the fee for Ronaldo, but reports from Spain suggest this is not true, and Madrid’s insistence that the fee for Bale was not a world record is merely to prevent Ronaldo from becoming disgruntled.
There is also cause for speculation that Real Madrid may be looking to sell Bale to divert attention from a possible enquiry into his transfer from Spurs. The Daily Telegraph reported that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling for an investigation into the transfer over allegation that Real financed the deal in part using illegal state aid.
During a session of the European Parliament, three separate MEP’s from England, Spain, and Belgium tabled questions about the promissory notes that formed part of the deal transferring Bale from Tottenham to Madrid. The promissory notes have been bought by a number of banks across Europe and the Spanish bank, Bankia, are suggested as one of the banks that purchased a promissory note. Bankia was bailed out by the EU, and the MEP’s argue that the promissory notes represent the club indirectly borrowing the money from EU and Spanish tax players. If this is ruled to be the case, then the transfer benefited from state aid ruled illegal under EU laws and hefty sanctions could be levied against the club. However, at this point in time, no official investigation has been launched, and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Bale himself.
Regardless of the reports in Spain that Madrid may be thinking of selling Bale his desire to stay and manager Zinedine Zidane’s admiration for the player make it unlikely that Real Madrid will sell him this summer.
[Image via Shutterstock]