Bale and Zidane both fuming as Real Madrid bizarrely pull plug on his Chinese Super League transfer

Bale and Zidane both fuming as Real Madrid bizarrely pull plug on his Chinese Super League transfer


GARETH BALE and his camp are fuming after Real Madrid president Florentino Perez pulled the plug on his big money move to China.

The Welshman was on the verge of joining Jiangsu Suning on a staggering three-year deal worth more than £1million a week.

Gareth Bale is fuming after his mega-money move to China has been blocked by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez
Reuters

But Perez has delivered a shock U-turn and informed the Chinese Super League side that they cannot have the Welsh star on free transfer.

The Real Madrid chief has also left Zinedine Zidane – who said last week “it would be best for everyone” if Bale, 30, left the Bernabeu as soon as possible – furious by overruling his directions.

The Los Blancos coach was preparing a fresh bid to land Manchester United star Paul Pogba once the former Spurs man was gone.

ZIZ-OUT?

Bale has already outlasted Zidane at Real Madrid on one occasion.

And there is now every chance that, extraordinarily, history could repeat itself and he will be   the last one standing at the Bernabeu.

The pair clearly detest each other, which is probably why they have not had a proper conversation for about two years.

So it is hardly a shock that despite scoring arguably the finest goal of any European final –  against Liverpool in Kiev 14 months ago – nothing was said by the Frenchman towards his goalscoring substitute.

Instead, it was Zidane who chucked in the towel five days later in the Spanish capital, sparking celebrations in the Bale household.

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The Welshman probably treated himself to an extra round of golf the next day.

Yet Bale’s worst nightmare occurred when Zidane returned in March after the disastrous short spells of Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari.

Zidane told Real president Florentino Perez he wanted Bale gone at all costs.

The new boss was not afraid to make those feelings public and it looked as though his wish was to be granted with the 30-year-old agreeing a free transfer to Jiangsu.

GO WITH THE FLO

But strangely, club supremo Perez looks to have pulled the rug from underneath Zidane with his monumental U-turn.

Perez surely knew he would end up peeing off both camps.

He has always remained a massive fan of Bale and repeatedly let this admiration be known to the player in private conversations.

Even by Real’s standards, a club which sways from being successful to dysfunctional – often within the same season – this development is spectacularly odd.

Maybe it is a coincidence that Perez made the decision after a bizarre and embarrassing 7-3 pre-season loss to Atletico Madrid in the US.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane wanted Bale gone at all costs
Getty – Contributor

And in another coincidence, just 48 hours after being blocked from earning over £1m a week in the Far East, Bale could end up playing against his former club Tottenham at the Audi Cup in Munich tomorrow.

Yet unlike the two clubs in China, there were no European takers who were willing to either match or increase Bale’s £650,000-a-week pay packet.

Although many fans, understandably, have struggled to get their heads around this one, Bale – contracted with Real until 2022 – was refusing to take a pay cut.

You have to wonder whether Perez, who now claims he wanted a transfer fee from China, has just been trying to smoke out any major interest from teams in Europe.

CALL OF DUTY

A move to China, where the transfer window shuts this Wednesday, would hardly have been good news for Wales boss Ryan Giggs.

He would have wanted his player to remain in this continent because of the travelling and also the quality of opponents and pitches.

To leave for Asia would also have been strange as Bale has always – unlike Giggs when he was a player – placed so much importance on international football.

Yet while Bale has always seemed to grow in terms of stature with the Welsh, he has remained a subdued and painfully shy character in the Real dressing room, where he is known as “the golfer”.

His refusal to speak at length in Spanish and preference to stay at home with the family rather than join the squad in late-night meals have not helped matters.

On this front, Bale has not been particularly bright.

He has been at the club six years now and should know that to “let the football do the talking” is not enough.

Certainly not at a club of this size.

Perez spectacularly changed his mind and told Jiangsu Suning they cannot have Bale on a free transfer
Rex Features

Bale joined Real for £86m from Tottenham in 2013 in a world-record deal at the time.

He has won four Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, a Copa Del Rey, three Uefa Super Cups and three Club World Cups.

He scored three goals, plus a penalty in a shootout, in four Champions League finals as Real won the  competition in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

But he has suffered injury problems. Just 79 La Liga starts in four seasons is not ideal.

At times last season, he was once again booed by the home supporters.

But you have to remember Real’s football fans are the most spoilt – and indeed embarrassing – set of football fans on this planet and have previously given Cristiano Ronaldo the same treatment.

Moving forward, they could end up jeering their team even more.

There are clearly issues at Real Madrid, regardless of the Bale situation.

And if they suffer a poor start to the La Liga season – and this is entirely possible – maybe it could be three-times Champions League winner Zidane who ends up leaving the club first.

Eden Hazard finally got his dream move from Chelsea but he has hardly arrived at a happy camp.


Hazard should be aware that whatever he achieves at Real, it can soon be forgotten and Bale is the obvious proof.

The same certainly applies to Zidane, who, if he is not careful, could end up being forced out of the club.

Maybe, after all of this pantomime, he will be the one who ends up in China.

Bale and Zidane feud timeline

MAY 28, 2018

Gareth Bale fires a warning shot to Zinedine Zidane following his Champions League final heroics against Liverpool.

He said: “Future? I need to be playing week in, week out and that hasn’t happened this season. I have to sit down with my agent in the summer and discuss it.”

APRIL 28, 2019

Zidane refuses to provide clarity on Bale’s future.

Asked whether the Welsh star was in his plans, Zidane said: “I don’t know, you will have to ask him.”

APRIL 30, 2019

Bale’s agent confirms player is “100 per cent committed” to Real Madrid and wishes to finish his career there.

MAY 18, 2019

Zidane hinted at Bale’s exit when he said: “It’s my decision. That is clear as water.

“I’m the coach and I will always do what I want to do. If not, I’ll leave.”

MAY 20, 2019

Bale is left on the bench for final game of Real’s season.

JULY 20, 2019

He is then left out of the US tour as Zidane looked to move him on quickly.

ZZ said: “He wasn’t included because the club is working on his departure.

“We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days.

“We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow. If it does then all the better.

“Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon.”

JULY 21, 2019

Bale’s agent called Zidane a “disgrace” and added: “He shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid.”

JULY 22, 2019

Zidane hit back by revealing Bale had refused to face Bayern Munich in pre-season.

He rapped: “He said the club was trying to negotiate his departure and he didn’t want to play because of that.”

JULY 27, 2019

Bale is reported to be on the verge of a £1million-a-week move to China.

JULY 28, 2019

Real chief Florentino Perez pulled the plug, causing a potential rift with Zidane.

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