Gareth Bale to Manchester United: Chris Coleman not expecting Real Madrid forward to move, but says 'you never know'

The Wales international has been tipped to return to the Premier League

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The Independent Football

Wales manager Chris Coleman says he expects his star man Gareth Bale to stay at Real Madrid beyond the transfer window.

Bale has constantly been linked to a return to the Barclays Premier League with Manchester United understood to be willing to break the world transfer record for the Welshman's signature.

The 26-year-old - who became the world's most expensive player when he left Tottenham for Spain for £85.3million in 2013 - has often found himself vilified by Real fans when his form has dipped, but he has pledged to stay at Madrid and Coleman says he does not believe that situation will change before the transfer window closes next week.

"I don't see it happening," Coleman said when asked about Bale possibly moving back to English football.

"You never know with football but, unless something's been going on behind closed doors that none of us know about, I can't see it.

"The finances involved for signing a player like that are astronomical.

"I see the media speculation, of course, but that's a major, major deal - another world record if he was going to move."


Coleman was speaking at a press conference to announce his squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Cyprus and Israel.

He had a scare this week when Bale, who has scored five of Wales' eight goals during the Euro 2016 campaign, needed a scan on a painful toe following Real's goalless draw at Sporting Gijon on Sunday.

But an X-ray revealed only bruising and Bale will be available for both games, although Liverpool's Joe Allen has been ruled out with a hamstring injury and joins fellow holding midfielders Emyr Huws and David Vaughan on the sidelines.

"When it initially happened (Bale's injury) you're holding your breath a bit, of course," Coleman said.

"I'd be lying if I said that wasn't the case, but the scan and the feedback was positive thankfully. So I don't think there's going to be a problem.

"There have been constant conversations with both medical teams - there's a very good relationship there between ourselves and Madrid - but it wasn't as bad as first thought."

Unbeaten Wales top Group B with 14 points from six games after beating Belgium, who are second in the FIFA world rankings, in June.

Victories over Cyprus and Israel would take Wales to a major tournament for the first time in 58 years and almost certainly see Coleman sign a new contract.

"If that happens - and I believe it will - then we can sit down and talk about me signing a new contract," Coleman said.

"We all went out for dinner (at the World Cup qualifying draw in July) and had a chat.

"But my reason for not wanting to get into negotiations about a new contract is because all I think about is doing this first part of the job - and that's qualifying for France.

"Managing Wales, I've always said, is the biggest job I'll ever have, no matter what happens to me afterwards.

"I don't want to give that up lightly, of course I don't, but I still want to make sure we get this job done.

"That means keeping our focus on this campaign and not worrying about the next one."