Real Madrid transfer news: Gareth Bale offered lifeline as Florentino Perez urges Zinedine Zidane to use forward

Zidane wants Pogba to join his summer squad revamp but Madrid’s inability to sell Bale combined with their lavish spending is set to give the Wales international a reprieve

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Friday 19 July 2019 07:10
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Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is trying to convince Zinedine Zidane to temporarily drop his interest in Paul Pogba and bring Gareth Bale into the fold because the club are struggling to sell the Welsh star.

Perez has wanted to rein in Madrid's spending after an early summer spree saw them bring in Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao and Theo Hernandez, which has affected Zidane's plan to bring in a new creative midfielder - specifically Pogba, who the French manager highly rates.

The club hierarchy have been less sold on the 26-year-old, but had been willing to back a pursuit of the Manchester United player if Zidane made other compromises - like the sale of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who has been relegated to the bench. Madrid's struggles to offload stars and raise further cash has complicated this, however.

Perez had planned on selling Bale this summer as the major departure, given Zidane does not see the winger in his plans, but that has proved almost impossible for a variety of reasons. Neither Madrid nor Bale are willing to drop their financial demands in terms of fee or wages, and the player does not see why he should push for a move.

He is said to favour Chelsea if anything did happen, but they cannot currently sign players due to a transfer ban, pending an appeal.

That has left Perez asking Zidane to reconsider his use of Bale, and wait on Pogba, who is running out of options to leave Manchester United and is facing another season at least at Old Trafford.

The French star has been "desperate to leave Old Trafford" as he feels the club may be incapable of challenging for the top honours, and although open to a move to both the Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, Real Madrid have long been his top choice.

The midfielder has targeted a move to Spain for his prime years, and many close to him believe that he would have already joined Barcelona or Madrid in 2013 had it not been for their refusal to meet the demands of his controversial agent Mino Raiola. Zidane has been intent on picking up that interest that summer, but the club initially prioritised other areas, and it is now seen as impossible to raise the funds it would take to get the player.

The price United would want is ultimately the major stumbling block, as they would not countenance a deal for less than £150m. While some members of the coaching staff don't think it would be the worst idea to sell Pogba, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is keen to keep him and has thereby set such a high price. Juventus are now unwilling to meet it, which leaves Paris Saint-Germain, whose own transfer strategy is entirely dependent on whether Neymar stays or goes to Barcelona.

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