Gareth Bale will be Rafa Benitez's main man at Real Madrid - not Cristiano Ronaldo

Incoming boss ready to play Bale through the middle, according to reports

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The Independent Online

Rafael Benitez will make Gareth Bale the centre-piece of his new-look Real Madrid team next season.

Benitez, who is the heavy favourite to replace the sacked Carlo Ancelotti, will play the Welshman through the middle and make him his new 'untouchable', claim the Daily Telegraph, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bale has been linked with an exit from the Spanish capital but the news should end speculation linking the 25-year-old with a blockbuster move to Manchester United.

Club president Florentino Perez is reported to be 'desperate' for Bale to be a success after he sanctioned the world record move for the former Tottenham winger two years ago.

Rather than play him wide right, like Ancelotti, Benitez will move Bale inside - although it is unclear whether he plans to use the Welshman in a 'false 9' role or behind a central striker.

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Rafa Benitez sees Bale, not Ronaldo, as the future of Real Madrid

The move will mean that 30-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo will largely operate from the left - like he has done for most of his Real Madrid spell. With Benitez and Perez believing that Bale, not Ronaldo, is the future of the club, the paper claim that the former Liverpool boss may be prepared to sell the Portuguese Ballon d'Or winner.

The future of Karim Benzema is also unclear, the Frenchman has been linked with a £40million move to Manchester United and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a big fan.

Benitez is yet to be appointed but his agent said the move is "99 per cent certain".

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