Gareth Bale is “worth as much as Neymar” and will not be leaving Real Madrid amid ongoing Manchester United links, claims the Welshman’s agent.
The 28-year-old has endured another injury-hit season in Spain, but is back to full fitness at present and has hit five goals in 2018.
That has done little to curb the speculation around his future, especially as Real are expected to overhaul their squad once a testing campaign comes to a close.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian superstar Neymar figures on a long list of mooted targets that could force Bale towards the exits, but his representative maintains that a prominent role at Santiago Bernabeu will be enjoyed well beyond the next transfer window.
Jonathan Barnett told Tuttosport: “Bale? I think he’s worth as much as Neymar.
“He loves Real Madrid and doesn’t want to leave. Gareth does not need [Cristiano] Ronaldo to leave Real Madrid, he is already a top star of the club.
“Bale is such a positive example for children. You will never see him in a fast food restaurant. He goes to bed early and I don’t think he is worse than Neymar.
“He can also battle it out for the Ballon d’Or in the future.”
If Bale were to attract interest over the summer, it is expected that Premier League sides will lead the hunt for the former Tottenham star.
Few clubs outside of Britain could afford a man who was once the most expensive player on the planet, with Barnett conceding that a switch to Italy would be highly unlikely.
He added: “I think no Serie A club can afford to buy Bale.
“There was the interest of a top Italian club [in the past] but I can’t name it. Tottenham, however, refused to sell him.”
While the challenge for Bale in the present is to try and end the speculation surrounding his future and join an elite group of talent at the very top of the game, Barnett believes he already enjoys such a standing in his chosen field.
A man who also manages the careers of other star turns such as Luke Shaw and Joe Hart said: “I think I am the best agent in the world.
“My agency Stellar has more than 100 players, it’s the biggest one out there.
“I really respect [Mino] Raiola and Jorge Mendes, we are like the Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar of agents.”