Gareth Bale To Manchester United – Zidane Brushes Off Mourinho’s Talk As Mind Games Begin

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane refused to buy into Jose Mourinho’s mind games after the Manchester United boss indicated his interest in signing Gareth Bale from the Spanish club. The two teams faced each other in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night where Real Madrid beat Man United 2-1 to win the trophy. But before the game, Mourinho didn’t want to lose an opportunity to put pressure on his counterpart.

The 28-year-old who has been a long-term target of Manchester United moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2013 for a then world record transfer of £85m, from Tottenham Hotspur.

Despite struggling to be the first-team choice, Bale has time and again indicated that he is happy to stay at the club. He signed a new six-year deal last October but Zidane preferred to play Isco instead of Bale in the first team off late.

The pursuit of Kylian Mbappe of AS Monaco has thrown Bale’s future into further doubt as Zidane will have to make way in the squad for his new signing. Of all the people, the Welsh superstar looks the most expendable and hence the rumours linking him with an exit.

Mourinho Trying To Make The Best Use Of Speculation

Enter Mourinho! The Portuguese has always been a master in mind games – ask Arsene Wenger. He chose the occasion of UEFA Super Cup to put pressure on Zidane and Real Madrid that he is lurking by, to sign Bale in case the Welshman didn’t start the match. He said,

“If he’s not in the club’s plans, if what you are writing right now is true – I am not sure whether it is or not – that the arrival of another player [would] perhaps [mean] Gareth would be on his way out. If he is on his way out of Real Madrid, well, I’ll try to be waiting for him on the other side and try to fight with other coaches that would also like to have him on his team.”

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho

Mourinho has already made three additions to his squad in the form of Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, and Romely Lukaku. He is in the market for a winger and the long-standing pursuit of Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic is showing no signs of reaching a favourable conclusion.

In this scenario, the Red Devils were thought to be looking at Bale’s situation more closely than ever.

Is Zidane Right In Brushing Off Mourinho?

Zidane was quick to rebuff the claims saying that Mourinho is trying to destabilise his team ahead of the match. However, deep down he knows very well that Bale’s situation is on a knife-edge and Mourinho may well prove to be right.

Zidane responded by saying,

“It’s the same thing with Ronaldo, we’ve also had stories about his future this summer. People seem to want to blow it up out of proportion. We’re concentrating on what we’re doing and that’s what is important.

“Bale is a Real Madrid player that’s all I can say. I want to talk about tomorrow’s match. We are here, him, me and all the other players and the fans are here for the match only. That other stuff doesn’t interest me very much.

“What’s important is that the player is feeling well. He’s had a lot of continuous training sessions with us and that’s what is important.

Zidane’s comments can purely be considered as a safe response to Mourinho’s mind games ahead of the match. Even Mourinho conceded after the game that it was ‘game over’ in Bale’s pursuit. However, it is firmly clear that there is something going on behind the scenes in the ‘Bale to Manchester United saga’ and nothing can be ruled out when it comes to players moving in the transfer window.

The war has just begun between Real Madrid and Manchester United I believe!