Transfer Deadline: Zidane Quashes Bale Exit Rumours

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane looks on before during the Spanish league football match Real Valladolid FC against Real Madrid CF at the Jose Zorilla stadium in Valladolid on January 26, 2020.
CESAR MANSO / AFP

 

Zinedine Zidane has said he is “not contemplating” Gareth Bale leaving Real Madrid on Friday before the end of the January transfer window. 

Bale came close to joining Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning last summer and English newspaper the Times reported on Friday the Welshman was in talks to rejoin his former club Tottenham.

But a source at Spurs has told AFP they are not in negotiations to sign Bale this month. Another source close to the player insisted earlier this week that “nothing has changed” and he would not be leaving Real Madrid in January.

 

Asked about the possibility of Bale being sold on Friday, Zidane said in a press conference: “Gareth is with us, I’m counting on him. I do not contemplate this possibility.”

Bale was left out of the squad to face Real Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, having completed only one full training session following an ankle injury.

Zidane would not say if he would return for the city derby against Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

“I’m not going to tell you who is going to play,” Zidane said. “The players all have to be prepared.”

There was also a positive update regarding the fitness of Eden Hazard, who has recovered from his foot injury and could feature against Atletico.

“We’ll see but he has been training with us all week,” Zidane said. “He could be included tomorrow but we will never take any risks.”

Hazard has not played since fracturing his foot against Paris Saint-Germain on November 26.

Real Madrid face Atletico on the back of a 20-game unbeaten run. They sit top of La Liga, three points clear of Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo Sets New All-Time UEFA Scoring Record

Christiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo has set a new all-time record goal total in UEFA club competition with his 77th and 78th strikes on Tuesday.

Ronaldo headed in Real Madrid CF’s 25th-minute equaliser against FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg to draw level with Raúl González, who had topped the pile since surpassing Filippo Inzaghi in October 2010.

Ronaldo then added his second of the night – another equaliser – on the stroke of half-time to make it eight goals for the current campaign and eclipse the Spaniard.

It was also his 75th strike in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, taking him level with Lionel Messi as the elite competition’s joint-top scorer.

The last of former Madrid ace Raúl’s European goals came for Schalke in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

UEFA club competition top scorers

78: Cristiano Ronaldo (Sporting Clube de Portugal, Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF)

77: Raúl González (Real Madrid, FC Schalke 04)

76: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

70: Filippo Inzaghi (Parma FC, Juventus, AC Milan)

67: Andriy Shevchenko (FC Dynamo Kyiv, AC Milan, Chelsea FC)

62: Gerd Müller (FC Bayern München)

62: Ruud van Nistelrooy (sc Heerenveen, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United FC, Real Madrid CF, Hamburger SV)

59: Thierry Henry (AS Monaco FC, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona)

59: Henrik Larsson (Feyenoord, Celtic FC, FC Barcelona, Helsingborgs IF)

56: Eusébio (SL Benfica)

UEFA Champions League top scorers (group stage to final)

75 Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)

75 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF)

71 Raúl González (Real Madrid CF/FC Schalke 04)

56 Ruud van Nistelrooy (PSV Eindhoven/Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF)

50 Thierry Henry (AS Monaco FC/Arsenal FC/FC Barcelona)