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'Bale has never wanted to leave Real Madrid' - Agent hits out at 'unpleasant jealousy'

13:06 GMT+3 31/01/2019
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 2018-19
The Wales international's representative insists no transfer has ever been sought and has condemned those who have continued to criticise his client

Gareth Bale has “never wanted to leave Real Madrid”, claims his agent Jonathan Barnett, with “jealousy” having led to “really unpleasant” campaigns against the Welshman.

Recent windows have seen plenty of transfer talk sparked around the 29-year-old forward.

He helped to fuel those fires at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, with Bale admitting that he would be weighing up his options on the back of a fourth Champions League triumph.

In the end, Cristiano Ronaldo was the one to depart the Santiago Bernabeu, with his move to Juventus intended to clear the path for Bale to step up as Madrid talisman.

That has not happened during another injury-hit campaign, but Barnett insists there has never been any suggestion that his client would be looking for a move.

He told Madridista Real: “Bale's always felt an important part of this team.

“Like I said before, Bale's never wanted to leave Real Madrid. He's really happy at the club and the club are happy with Bale.

“The truth is we're tired of the stupid stories and lies.”

Barnett does concede that “last season was a bit difficult” for Bale, but he insists that the intention has always been to prove his worth to those who have sought to write him off.

“Gareth's always been respectful with the fans and at moments some fans have been angry with him, maybe unfairly,” added the Wales international’s representative.

“But currently the fans have realised that they were wrong, he's a superstar, a player at the heights of Real Madrid.”

Questions of his form and fitness have followed Bale around throughout his time in Spain.

He has, however, taken in 213 appearances for Madrid and netted 99 goals.

The most recent of those came against Espanyol on Sunday, with his latest return from injury seeing him offer another timely reminder of his talent to those who continue to doubt him.

“He's suffered campaigns against him, the treatment he's received from some sections of the press has been really unpleasant,” said Barnett.

“I think that jealousy could be the motive behind these campaigns in various sections of the media against Bale.”

Bale may get the chance to reach a century of goals for Madrid on Thursday when they take in the second leg of a Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Girona.