Manchester United have been dealt a(nother) blow in their never-ending pursuit to sign Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, after the player's agent confirmed he wanted to see out the remainder of his career in the Spanish capital.
Jonathan Barnett, who represents the 28-year-old, has spoken to Fichajes in recent days in another attempt to cool growing talk that Bale could move back to the Premier League. United are long-time admirers, and were rejected by the Welshman in 2013 as he opted to join Real in the first place.
Speculation over Bale's departure from the European champions has however ramped up again over the last few weeks, because of the player's ongoing injury troubles. Bale has missed most of the season so far and it has been reported that a number of officials at the club are losing patience with the player.
However, despite talk that Real could lower their asking price next summer in order to shift a high-earner off their books, Barnett has confirmed that Bale has no desire to leave the club.
Barnett said: "He wants to play the rest of his life at Real Madrid. He loves Madrid, the city, life and he loves the club. Of course it hurts him when the people don't support him and they do with other players who aren't so good.
"It's crazy, this happens only in Spain and I don't understand it, fans should understand this and know how good he is.
"I think that those who write these stories should go back to school and learn what journalism should be like, it's not inventing stories, I do not want to get angry because I read invented stories.
"Some journalists in Spain write garbage, they aren't based on football reasons and this is a mistake, they don't take the time to analyse what he has done. The fans should adore him."
Bale is reported by the Mirror to be one of FOUR left-footed players that United want to sign next summer, despite Barnett's comments. Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Arsenal's Mesut Ozil continue to be linked with a move to Old Trafford - the latter of which could move for free at the end of his contract - while United also want a natural left back.
Tottenham's Danny Rose has been mooted for that role, given Jose Mourinho is unhappy with the contribution of Luke Shaw and is effectively refusing to play him in the first team. Ashley Young has been filling the role for the majority of the season, while Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have flattered to deceive.