Gareth Bale is certain to bring an end to his stint at Real Madrid at the end of the ongoing campaign.
Signed in 2013 from Tottenham, the Welsh international has had a turbulent spell at the Santiago Bernabeu. While he played a key role in the success that they achieved over the last decade, Bale has been out of favour at the club for the past couple of years or so.
A falling out with Zinedine Zidane led to Bale joining Tottenham on loan last season, where he did quite well. Back at Real Madrid, there were hopes that Carlo Ancelotti could revive the Welsh wing-wizard this term but he has struggled for game-time yet again.
Bale’s contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the season. Given his situation, an exit is very much set in stone this summer. A move to the MLS has been mooted, where D.C. United are ready to hand him a lucrative contract.
A fresh report from Fichajes is now claiming that Real Madrid’s neighbours and arch-rivals, Atletico Madrid, are also considering signing Bale on a Bosman deal in the summer transfer window.
With Luis Suarez’s contract running out, Diego Simeone’s men need reinforcements in attack and they are open to taking a gamble on the 32-year-old Welsh international.
Los Rojiblancos are aware that it is a risky proposition, but if things click, the former Tottenham Hotspur superstar, whose market value currently is just €3 million, could prove to be a shrewd addition to the ranks, even if it is for a short term.
It will be interesting to see if there is any truth to these claims and whether Bale would be willing to make the switch from Real Madrid to their bitter rivals come the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.