Bale's agent not interested in 'slanging matches' with Madrid boss Zidane

By Sports Desk July 23, 2019

Gareth Bale's agent is not willing to enter into "slanging matches" with Zinedine Zidane after the Real Madrid boss claimed the Wales forward refused to play in the pre-season friendly with Bayern Munich.

Madrid boss Zidane accused Bale of making his own decision not to feature in the International Champions Cup defeat to the Bundesliga champions at the weekend.

The absence occurred in the wake of Zidane admitting his desire for the 30-year-old to be sold sooner rather than later.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, branded the Frenchman a "disgrace" in response to those comments, but insisted there would be no ongoing war of words on Tuesday.

"That's not something we've ever spoken about [missing the Bayern game]. I'm not getting into any slanging matches," Barnett told Omnisport.

"I've never criticised anybody for anything other than what they said or what they did."

Bale joined LaLiga giants Madrid in 2013 and signed a lucrative contract extension in 2016.

And with three seasons still left to run on that deal, there is no urgency from his camp to force a resolution.

Barnett confirmed on Tuesday to Sky Sports News that the player will not consider a loan move away from the Spanish capital amid strong links to the Chinese Super League, where clubs are reportedly considering offering wages of £1million per week.

Barnett declined to reveal Bale's preference for China or Europe, adding: "If Gareth finds something that he really likes then we'll talk about it.

"He's a Real Madrid player. He's got three years on his contract. Nothing can change that fact.

"If he didn't have a contract it would be a problem for him. But he's fine. He's signed a contract and he's fine."

Madrid face Arsenal in an International Champions Cup clash in Maryland on Tuesday.

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    Bale reminded Zinedine Zidane what he is capable of with an assist in an impressive performance as Madrid opened their LaLiga campaign by beating Celta Vigo 3-1.

    The Wales star had been tipped to leave Madrid after head coach Zidane said last month it would be better for him to depart the Santiago Bernabeu, where Bale has won four Champions League titles and a LaLiga crown among other trophies.

    Bale – who was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League – now looks set to remain in the Spanish capital, and Madrid midfielder Casemiro praised him following Saturday's triumph.

    "He [Bale] has given us titles, he's scored in finals and he has a lot of respect from us all," Casemiro said.

    "He has to play. He's a great player and is very important for us."

    Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois added: "He is an important player and played a great match. Everyone loves him and it is important that he plays for us. We are so happy with Bale."

    It was a winning start for Madrid, who survived a Luka Modric red card as they overcame Celta with 10 men away from home.

    Bale teed up Karim Benzema for the 12th-minute opener before Modric was sent off for catching Denis Suarez on the heel following a VAR review approaching the hour mark.

    Despite their numerical disadvantage, Madrid wrapped up all three points thanks to Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez, while Iker Losada netted a stoppage-time consolation.

    "Preseason was not easy for us, there were games in which we did not play well, but we knew we doing things right," Courtois said. "We feel good, today we showed that. We played a good game and we went ahead with 10 players. That is key.
     
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    "I think it's not an excuse. I am not complaining about the situation, only explaining it," he told reporters. "Of course, we still need to wait to see what happens with our squad. Maybe some players are still in a situation where things can happen.

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    City thought they had claimed all three points in added time when Jesus finished well, but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check found the ball hit Aymeric Laporte on the arm in the build-up.

    "I accept now that the VAR is in football. I was a little bit critical in the past," Pochettino added. "That wasn't nice for the people to hear from me. I love football that was 30 years ago or more.

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    "Now we give it to technology and the new era in football. We're going to accept the rules. I will accept in the future because for sure in the future some decisions will be against us. I'm going to accept it in the same way with the same face. The rules are the rules and the VAR is here."

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