'Bale is happy at Real Madrid' - McManaman doubts summer switch for Man Utd target

Gareth Bale Real Madrid
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The former Blancos star admits the Wales international will be looking for more regular game time, but expects him to fight for those chances in Spain

Gareth Bale is “happy in Real Madrid” and likely to stick around to fight for his future, claims former Blancos star Steve McManaman.

The Wales international has endured another testing campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu, with injuries and tactical tinkering limiting his impact.

With Zinedine Zidane having taken to benching the 28-year-old at times, it has been suggested that a summer move could be made – with Manchester United reported to be long-standing suitors.

Bale’s representatives have, however, sought to curb the transfer talk at regular intervals and McManaman believes that a three-time Champions League winner would prefer to remain in Spain.

A man who enjoyed four productive years in Madrid between 1999 and 2003 told Goal: “Knowing the player and some close people to him, I can say that he is happy in Real Madrid.

“His future will only depend on him, and the final of the Champions League may be decisive for his future.

“He is happy, but he is not getting enough time of play.

“He didn't start against Juventus and didn't play the first game against Bayern Munich, so that may influence him, but his lifestyle in Madrid is lovely and he is playing for the greatest club in the world.”

While Bale is being linked with a move away from Madrid this summer, Mohamed Salah is among those believed to be on the Blancos’ wish list.

The Egypt international has starred for Liverpool this season, netting 43 goals and collecting numerous prestigious prizes, with it even suggested that he could come into Ballon d’Or consideration for 2018.

McManaman is delighted to see another of his former clubs benefiting from the talents of an elite performer, but does not expect him to be on the move in the next window either.

Mohamed Salah Liverpool stay not Real Madrid Steve McManaman

The former Reds winger added: “Salah has the quality to play for Real Madrid, but he has only spent nine months in Liverpool and he should repeat his current form for many seasons to confirm himself.

“I don't see him in Real Madrid soon.”

What will happen soon is a Champions League final clash between Liverpool and Madrid, Bale and Salah.

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Two European heavyweights are set to lock horns in Kiev on May 26, with McManaman expecting an exciting encounter between two attacking teams.

He said: “It'll be a very tough game for both teams, but Liverpool is in a better form and their style is more attractive.

“Real Madrid is more experienced though and they won the last two Champions Leagues, and that will be an advantage for them. It'll be a very entertaining game for sure.”