Gareth Bale: Real Madrid call off Wales forward’s China move

Gareth Bale
Bale has started all of Real Madrid’s pre-season games on the bench

Gareth Bale’s move to China is off after Real Madrid cancelled the deal, with the Wales winger now set to stay at the Spanish club.

Bale, 30, had been expected to join Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning on a three-year deal, earning a reported £1 million a week.

Last week Real boss Zinedine Zidane said Bale was “very close to leaving”having fallen out of favour.

Zidane added his exit would be “best for everyone”.

Bale joined the Spanish club for £85m from Tottenham in 2013 in a world record deal at the time.

He has three years left on his contract with the Bernabeu club where he has won four Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, a Copa del Rey, three Uefa Super Cups and three Club World Cups.

Bale scored three goals, plus a penalty in a shootout, in four Champions League finals for Real as they won the competition in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

However, injury problems have limited him to 79 La Liga starts in the past four seasons.

He played 42 matches for Real Madrid last season but was booed by the home supporters at times during the campaign.

Zidane’s return as Real boss in March was described as “bad news” by the forward’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, because the Frenchman did not want to work with Bale and the two men disagreed on playing style.

Bale ended last season on the bench as Real endured their poorest domestic campaign in 20 years, with 12 defeats, 68 points and a third-place finish – 19 points behind champions Barcelona. They were also knocked out of the Champions League by Ajax in the last 16.

Bale has been reportedly nicknamed “The Golfer” by his Real team-mates, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said Bale did not attend a team meal because he did not want to miss his bed time.

He is Wales’ record goalscorer with 31 goals in 77 caps.

A pre-season to forget

Bale was left out of Real’s first pre-season game of their US tour, a 3-1 defeat by Bayern Munich on 21 July. After the game Zidane said: “We hope he leaves soon. It would be best for everyone. We are working on his transfer to a new team.”

In response to Zidane’s comments, Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett told AFP: “Zidane is a disgrace – he shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid.”

Bale came off the bench in Real’s next game to score as they won on penalties after a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in the International Champions Cup, although Frenchman Zidane insisted “nothing had changed”.

He again started on the bench as Real were thrashed 7-3 by Atletico Madridin New Jersey, but came on for the final 30 minutes


The Brazil forward missed the opening five games as he tried and failed to seal a move back to Barcelona.

PSG ultras booed him when his name was read out before the game, when he touched the ball, when he took a corner and when he shot wide.

There was a mix of cheers and boos after he scored the late winner.

Neymar’s goal – earning his side a 1-0 victory – was a sensational acrobatic volley from Abdou Diallo’s cross which went in off the post.

Neymar had the ball in the net for the second time moments later but it was disallowed by the video assistant referee for offside.

There were also chants and banners using vulgar language about Neymar, including a reference to the 20m euros he had reportedly said he would pay in order to join Barcelona.

The forward wanted to move back to Catalonia in the summer, but Barcelona were unable to reach an agreement with PSG.

He missed the Trophee des Champions and opening four Ligue 1 games, only returning after the close of the transfer window.

There were also PSG debuts for goalkeeper Keylor Navas and striker Mauro Icardi, on loan from Real Madrid and Inter Milan respectively, while former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera made his Ligue 1 bow in the second half.

Neymar will be unavailable for PSG’s next game – Wednesday’s Champions League home match with Real Madrid – because of a three-match European suspension.

US Open: Champion Novak Djokovic defies injury to reach last 32

Novak Djokovic

Treatment helped Djokovic ‘stay in the match’

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic received treatment on a shoulder injury

Djokovic, 32, is favourite to win his fourth title at Flushing Meadows after winning four of the past five Grand Slams, yet the sight of him needing intense massages in his second-round match may provide hope to his rivals that the Serb is not invincible.

Djokovic asked for a first medical timeout immediately before breaking back for 3-3 in the first set, calling the trainer again moments after he clinched the opener by outlasting Londero in a 22-shot rally.

Londero, who had never played in the main draw at Flushing Meadows until this tournament, managed to take advantage in a fluctuating second set where he led 3-0 and trailed 5-3 before forcing a tie-break.

However, Djokovic upped the intensity to dominate the second-set decider and encountered few problems from then on.

Despite his obvious struggles, Djokovic showed little sign of frustration throughout the first two sets, although hammering a ball into the court between serves when Londero broke again at the start of the third set did indicate his displeasure and discomfort.

Nevertheless, Djokovic quickly ran away with the final set as Londero starting racking up unforced errors, winning in two hours and 15 minutes.

“I was also lucky to find my way back in the second set and to win in straight sets,” Djokovic added.

“At changeovers, I tried to use within the rules as much as I can physiotherapy and medical help. That has definitely helped me stay in the match.

“The good thing about Grand Slams is you have a day off in between the matches. I’m hoping that with proper medical help and treatments, I’ll be able to get myself in a better state than I was today.”

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