On the eve of the match, United manager Mourinho said he will “fight with other coaches” to sign Bale if Madrid are willing to sell the Wales forward.However, he added the former Tottenham winger starting for Madrid in Skopje would be “the clearest signal that he is staying there”.
Well, Bale started.In truth it was always going to be likely as Ronaldo – who came on as a late substitute – only returned to full training at the weekend after being given an extended summer break following Portugal’s involvement in the Confederations Cup.
Bale insists he wants to stay at the Bernabeu, but struggled to make a major impact in an injury-hit campaign as Madrid won the Spanish La Liga title and Champions League last season.
The former Southampton player had a chance to prove his worth to Zinedine Zidane as he started up front alongside Karim Benzema.
He instinctively fired over early on, then set up Isco with a perfectly weighted pass before smashing a rising right-footed drive against the bar.Bale, who was brought off after 75 minutes, will be pleased with his contribution in an impressive team performance.
However, if Madrid do sign exciting Monaco teenager Kylian Mbappe then it would appear Bale could become a peripheral figure at the Bernabeu.
After the game, Bale said he has not been told he can leave.”I’m just concentrating on football and not listening to anything,” he said. “I’m enjoying myself playing here.”
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