Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid departure has left the club looking for a new star player and they already have one on their books.
Gareth Bale may have hinted at his own exit after the Champions League final – in which he scored twice, including a superb overhead kick goal – in Kiev, but the fact that Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo have both moved on has changed things.
The Welshman wasn’t one of Zidane’s favourite players, while he had also had to share the spotlight with Ronaldo since his 2013 move to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Now, though, he can be the star player with those two figures gone.
While he was willing to consider a summer move, the change in circumstances means that he has changed his mind and his entourage now believe he’ll stay in the Spanish capital, following positive talks with Julen Lopetegui and the club.
Real Madrid are convinced that Bale should be their star player, their ‘franchise player’, for the 2018/19 season.
There is nobody else currently in the squad who boasts his potential and he is the one who has his level of marketing pull, even if it doesn’t quite come close to Ronaldo’s.
Lopetegui’s plan is for the forward to play alongside Karim Benzema in attack and to play close to the area.
Ronaldo’s exit means there is a need for someone else to score the goals and Bale has shown that he can do this when he is healthy – as he has been since last November.
The 29-year-old is keen to take up the challenge and believes he can show his best under Lopetegui if the coach gives him confidence.