Bale not a certain starter, insists Real Madrid coach

The Blancos assistant manager, Paul Clement, has warned the Welshman that he will have to prove himself like the rest of the squad despite his world-record £86 million transfer fee
Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement has insisted that Gareth Bale is not a certain starter at the Santiago Bernabeu despite his world-record £86 million transfer fee.

The Welshman completed a protracted move from Tottenham to the Liga giants on Monday before being presented to the Blancos fans, but Clement has warned the forward that he will have to prove himself like the rest of the squad.

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"There's a lot of competition for places - no-one will be guaranteed anything," Clement told BBC Sport. "Coach Carlo Ancelotti has a clear idea how to use him but things can change."

"Carlo is flexible enough to use Gareth and other players in different capacities. At Southampton, Bale played at left-back which he also did at Spurs where he became a more left-sided player. He recently became more central. He's got that versatility.

"It'll be interesting to see how players fit in together. We'll be trying to find their best position and what's best for the team as quickly as possible.

"Gareth has the goalscoring talent and ability to set up goals for others. We have a lot of exciting players here. [Karim] Benzema is a great talent, while Isco plays in midfield but has chipped in with three goals already."

Clement revealed that Madrid will assess Bale's fitness while on international duty with Wales to see if he is ready to make his debut against Villarreal on September 14, and he expects him to learn Spanish in a bid to settle quickly.

He continued: "Depending on how much or little he plays will depend whether he trains a week on Wednesday or Thursday leading into the first game at Villarreal away.

"It's more challenging for a coach and manager than a player," he continued. "Communication is everything - you have to instruct and organise.

"It's up to Gareth to learn. A lot of players start having lessons at the club when they arrive. [Croatian] Luka Modric, who played with Gareth at Tottenham, had some lessons initially - he speaks in Spanish and English with the players.

"I'm sure Gareth will do the same. He spoke some lines during the news conference. It's a great life quality if he knuckles down and learns. Our communication with the team as a whole will be in Spanish."