By Jamie Thomas.
Chris Coleman has backed Gareth Bale to snub a return to the English Premier League in favour of remaining at Real Madrid this summer.Embed from Getty Images
The Welsh superstar has been criticised for his form this season and linked with a move back to England after finishing the season empty-handed. Manchester United are believed to be the favourites for his signature and it was reported this month they could land him as part of a swap deal with apparent want-away keeper David De Gea.
Speculation surrounding Bale’s future has only intensified after the sacking of manager Carlo Ancelotti but the former Tottenham forward seemed to rubbish such suggestions when he tweeted he was looking forward to the new La Liga season earlier in the week.
Wales boss Coleman reckons the world record signing has been unfairly singled out this term – and echoed his comments by insisting he won’t quit the Bernabeu but instead fight to prove his worth under rumoured new boss, Rafael Benitez.
Coleman said: “It’s not just him that is having a tough time – Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Karim Benzema – they’re all struggling but everyone wants to focus on Gareth. But he’s a man, he’ll come through it; he’s never let us down in any case.
“Why would you want to leave Real Madrid? He’s worked hard enough to get there. I don’t think he will leave. I don’t think he wants to but if he does, then there will be a couple of clubs who want him and can afford him.”
Coleman heaped praise on axed Ancelotti and his assistant Paul Clement, who does look like he’ll be returning to England. The 43-year-old ex-Fulham and Blackburn coach is now tipped to take up his first managerial position at Derby following Steve McClaren’s departure.
Former Real Sociedad manager Coleman reckons Bale’s two-year spell in Spain under Ancelotti has made him stronger in every respect – and even fitter than Premier League players. But he also has a vested interest in the 25-year-old remaining a Galactico: he believes it is to the benefit of the national side.
Coleman said: “Ancelotti and Clement were brilliant. It’s a shame for Ancelotti, I think he’s a great manager. It was a tough season for Madrid, and Gareth is the most expensive player in the world, so, of course, he is going to attract attention.”
He added: “I know what the Spanish league is like and people asked me if I’d be worried about him going there or if it makes things more difficult for me, but it doesn’t because the tempo is different over there. As a result, I think Bale is in better shape than the Premier League players, so from that perspective, I’d like him to stay where he is.”
Do you think Coleman is right and Bale should remain at Real Madrid? Or would he be better off with United? Let us know in the comments below!
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