Real Madrid 'Won't Abandon' Gareth Bale Amid Manchester United Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2017

DORTMUND, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 26: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Signal Iduna Park on September 26, 2017 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid are reportedly set to stick with Gareth Bale for the time being despite his ongoing injury problems and rumours linking him with Manchester United.

According to Marca's Jose Felix Diaz, the Spanish giants "won't abandon" the winger, who they believe needs protecting "now more than ever." It's said "any decision about his Real Madrid future will be taken next summer, rather than in the heat of a frustrating moment."

Bale has been absent since September, and his latest setback could extend that to December because of a fresh muscle injury to his left leg.

The Welshman has encountered a number of injury problems during his time in the Spanish capital, which has proved costly given the outlay on his transfer and wages:

SB Nation's Lucas Navarrete believes the club should cut its losses on him as a result:

There are conflicting reports regarding the winger, though, as according to AS (h/t Annie Eaves of Sport Witness), he is on the "exit ramp" at the Santiago Bernabeu and could be allowed to join United in a cut-price deal for between €70 million and €80 million (£62 million and £71 million), with his value having dropped from more than €120 million (£107 million).

A January exit would seem unlikely, particularly as Bale can't be relied upon to be fit. The Red Devils likely wouldn't be prepared to splash out on him if he's injured.

Next summer may be an option if Madrid decide to move him on, but there remains the question of whether United would be prepared to gamble on him given his injury record.

Football writer Liam Canning no longer believes he would be worth it:

Bale has 70 goals and 55 assists for Real in his 159 appearances for the club, which is a strong return, but those tallies would all be significantly higher had he been injury-free since his arrival in 2013.

He'll be 29 next summer, so if the European champions do decide to let him leave, the club would need to be prepared to accept a much lower transfer fee, and he may have to settle for lower wages if a buyer is to be enticed.