Gareth Bale Reportedly Holds Positive Real Madrid Talks Amid Man United Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 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

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale has reportedly held positive discussions with the football club, increasing the likelihood he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. 

According to John Percy of the Daily Telegraph, the Wales international has sat down with new manager Julen Lopetegui to discuss plans for next season, with the player advised by the coach that he has an important role to play following Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Juventus.

"Lopetegui is understood to have told Bale how much he admires him, and how is he looking forward to working with him in the forthcoming campaign," the piece continued. "... Bale's representatives are expected to hold talks with the Real hierarchy later this week but, at this stage, a move to [Manchester] United appears remote." 

It's reported that United have asked whether or not a transfer could be completed this summer for the former Tottenham Hotspur man. Manager Jose Mourinho is said to be a big admirer of the 29-year-old.

James Robson @JamesRobsonMEN

Gareth Bale wants/expects to be told he is seen as Ronaldo’s successor at Real during talks with Lopetegui. Whether he believes that after Perez signs his next Galactico(s) is critical. The strength of his will to stay or go is what #MUFC hopes hinge on

However, after casting doubt over his future at Madrid following the win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League final in May, Bale now appears poised to stay where he is, thus extending his five-year stint in the Spanish capital.

As we can see here, since joining Real Madrid the forward has been a huge success and has won the Champions League on four separate occasions:

Mourinho is said to hold an interest in signing Bale.
Mourinho is said to hold an interest in signing Bale.AFP Contributor/Getty Images

He's made huge impacts in these finals too. In his debut campaign in 2013-14, he put Madrid ahead against local rivals Atletico Madrid in extra time, while two years later he was excellent in the 2015-16 final versus the same opponents.

But it was in the most recent showpiece he had the biggest impact, coming off the bench to score two goals for Los Blancos in a 3-1 win over Liverpool, including an incredible overhead kick from the edge of the area.

It was a historic performance from the Madrid No. 11:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

Gareth Bale since joining Real Madrid in 2013: 👕 Games 189 ⚽ Goals 88 🏆 Trophies 13 #UCL https://t.co/h1MsTdsuoX

Still, his role at Real has come under scrutiny. Bale only started 20 games in La Liga last term and has been dogged by persistent injury issues in recent years, meaning former manager Zinedine Zidane would often turn to players such as Isco, Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema in the biggest games instead of Bale.

With Ronaldo's departure confirmed, Bale is now likely to be given the platform to establish himself as a key man again. 

According to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, although there is still interest in the player from the Red Devils, it's looking increasingly unlikely they'll get their man:

B/R Football @brfootball

Gareth Bale makes Champions League history ⚽⚽ https://t.co/4Kze55NUc0

It's a crucial season in Bale's career. While his position at Madrid appeared in jeopardy after the Champions League final, under a new manager who has a talisman-shaped hole to fill, he has the chance to establish himself as an indispensable player in one of the world's biggest teams.

In the past, injury woes have let him down and conquering those remains a significant obstacle for Bale to overcome. Still, Lopetegui appears to be ready to show faith in the Welshman, and he will be desperate to respond in turn.