Report: Gareth Bale Spent 20 Minutes in Liverpool Dressing Room After UCL Final

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2018

Real Madrid's Welsh forward Gareth Bale with his winner's medal and a Welsh flag on the pitch as Real Madrid players celebrate winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26, 2018. - Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 3-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Gareth Bale reportedly spent 20 minutes in Liverpool's dressing room after the UEFA Champions League final rather than celebrating with his Real Madrid team-mates amid speculation over his future at the club and links with Manchester United

According to the Daily Mail's Craig Hope, Bale visited his friends in the Liverpool squad including former Southampton team-mate Adam Lallana, having been one of the first Los Blancos stars to make for the changing rooms after the final-whistle celebrations.

As Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler noted, the winger was also the first to commiserate the Reds players after Real's 3-1 win, rather than immediately join his team-mates' celebrations:

Bale's actions and body language are under scrutiny following his post-match comments. He scored twice after coming off the bench, including a sensational bicycle kick, but the focus of his interview after the final was his disappointment at not starting the game and his need for more playing time.

The Welshman was "angry and humiliated" by manager Zinedine Zidane's decision to name him among the substitutes, and his relationship with the Frenchman is "strained" as a result, per Hope.

It is not the first time Bale has appeared not to be particularly comfortable in his surroundings at Real. 

Last year, former Madrid player, manager and sporting director Jorge Valdano told Onda Cero's El Transistor (h/t ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan) that Bale still struggles with speaking Spanish and is isolated within the dressing room.

According to Marca's Pablo Polo, Man United are set to push for a transfer and want to convince Bale they are the "perfect destination" where he would enjoy superstar status.

Per Bleacher Report's Dean Jones, Los Blancos hope the 28-year-old will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu:

Including the brace in the final, he scored 21 goals in 39 appearances last season, as well as laying on eight assists, so it's equally understandable they would want him to stay and that he wants to play a more significant role.

According to Hope, Bale might alternatively be allowed to leave so as to fund a potential pursuit of Eden Hazard or Neymar, but few clubs are in the position to afford him.

United are one such club, though, and making him feel wanted and promising him a key role would hold plenty of appeal.

Much could depend on Madrid and whether they give him assurances over his role for next season, though.

If they guarantee him game time in their biggest matches, he'll likely be happy to stay at a club that has just won their third consecutive Champions League title.

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