Gareth Bale

Spurs reportedly have right to match any Bale bid

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What’s Gareth Bale worth these days? And how much higher than that figure is Manchester United willing to go?

Those are the two main questions that arise from the idea that Tottenham Hotspur may have a contractual privilege to match any offer made to Real Madrid for the ex-Spurs star.

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Bale, 28, was worth $112 million in today’s dollars when Real bought him in 2013. He has 70 goals and 55 assists in 159 matches for the Spanish outfit.

How much is he worth now? Certainly nothing near the same figure, as Romelu Lukaku went for $99 million this summer and Alvaro Morata went for $80 million.

The Express says Real expects $112 million right back for Bale, which seems insane. Bale has three goals and four assists in nine matches for Real this summer, and had nine and five in 27 outings last season.

Bale did, however, scored 19 goals in 23 La Liga matches two seasons ago, but he’s dealt with significant injuries on a near-annual basis.

Spurs transfer record is the $48 million it spent on Davinson Sanchez this summer. Whatever Manchester United, or anything suitor, will bid for Bale will likely be higher than that figure.

At one point would it make sense for Spurs to smash their record and wage structure to line up Bale, Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen in the same attack (I mean, holy smoke, just close your eyes and visualize that!).

Real reportedly wants to make the move happen in January, while United wants to do it in the summer.

Report: Real Madrid decide to sell Bale

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A report from AS in Spain says that Real Madrid have decided to offload Gareth Bale.

The Welsh international, 28, has suffered multiple injuries over the past 12 months, which has led to him playing in just nine of Real’s 19 games in all competitions this season.

Coupled with criticism from Real’s fans, it appears Bale could be ready for a move back to the Premier League next summer and per the report he would be available for just over $90 million.

That sound you can hear is Jose Mourinho and Manchester United licking their lips with delight after they failed with a $140 million move for Bale last summer.

It’s safe to say that despite three UEFA Champions League titles in four years at the Santiago Bernabeu, Bale hasn’t been as influential as expected.

Cristiano Ronaldo is still the main man for Zinedine Zidane, Karim Benzema is going nowhere soon and the reports suggests that the reigning European champs will bring in Kylian Mbappe next summer to replace Bale.

The French teenager is only on loan at Paris Saint-Germain and with PSG likely to face Financial Fair Play difficulties next season if they make Mbappe’s loan deal permanent, the youngster could be on his way to the Spanish capital.

Regardless, Bale’s strengths seem better suited to life in the Premier League and his final season at Tottenham in 2012-13 remain a thing of beauty when looking back on it.

With Mourinho waxing lyrical about Bale last summer and Real seemingly willing to let him go, the former Spurs star seems like he has a more than adequate escape route lined up for Old Trafford.

Would he start at United though? Of course. But his arrival could block the progress of Marcus Rashford, however with Mourinho favoring a 3-5-2 formation in recent weeks, Bale could easily line up in the No.10 role behind Romelu Lukaku and Rashford. Imagine that pace and power. It doesn’t get more Mourinho-esque than that.

This is one of those transfer reports which you nod your head to and say “yep, this all seems to add up nicely for everyone concerned.”

Gareth Bale suffers new injury setback

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Real Madrid and Wales star Gareth Bale, who has been out of action since the end of September, has been shelved for another month after compounding an already frustrating injury.

The 28-year-old had been working towards a return from his calf injury suffered late against Borussia Dortmund in Champions League group play, but is now back in the trainer’s room with a thigh strain, the club announced.

“Gareth Bale felt some discomfort in his left leg at the end of Thursday’s training session and today underwent various tests carried out by the Real Madrid Sanitas medical team,” Real Madrid posted on its official website.”He has been diagnosed with a strain to the middle third of the adductor longus muscle in his left leg. His recovery will continue to be assessed.”

Bale’s importance to the Real Madrid squad has been made clear by his latest absence, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each scoring just a single goal this La Liga season. Madrid sits a distant third in the league table, a full eight points back of Barcelona through just 11 matches.

The club did not offer a timetable for Bale’s return, but multiple reports across Spain claim that he could miss another full month, with a December return likely barring no other issues.

Bale has struggled with injuries during his time at Real Madrid, with his calf proving most problematic. Last season he played just 489 league minutes after mid-November thanks to a long-term ankle injury that kept him out through the winter before his calf ended his season in early April. The year before that, Bale missed five league matches in the early part of the season plus another seven matches around February with calf problems.

International friendlies: Belgium-Mexico end in wild draw and more

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A crazy day of international friendlies took place on Friday, and many World Cup favorites were in action.

[ MORE: Italy falls to Sweden in UEFA playoff first leg ]

Belgium 3-3 Mexico

If this was a preview of things to come next summer, sign me up. It was a goals bonanza in Belgium on Friday with Romelu Lukaku and Hirving Lozano each tallying a brace for their respective nations. Eden Hazard gave Belgium the early lead inside 17 minutes, while El Tri picked up an equalizer seven minutes before halftime when Andres Guardado converted a penalty.

England 0-0 Germany

The Three Lions put out a good mix of experience and youth against the Germans, and the outcome was a solid one for Gareth Southgate and Co. Young talents like Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek showed well for the English on Friday, as they held their dangerous counterparts to a shutout at Wembley Stadium.

France 2-0 Wales

It was always going to be hard for Wales to get a result without star attacker Gareth Bale, but the fact that they were tasked with facing Les Bleus didn’t make it any easier. Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud each scored for France on a day where they recorded 19 shots overall. Meanwhile, the Welsh had a difficult time coming up with chances without Bale.

Below are some of the other scores from a busy day of international friendlies.

Poland 0-0 Uruguay
Portugal 3-0 Saudi Arabia
Ukraine 2-1 Slovakia
Georgia 1-0 Cyprus
Haiti 1-0 UAE
Japan 1-3 Brazil
South Korea 2-1 Colombia
China 0-2 Serbia

International friendlies: Mexico vs. Belgium, young England vs. Germany

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Let’s get something out of the way — We’re not trying to torture you by writing about teams warming up for the World Cup with fun friendlies; It stings us just as much to consider the USMNT’s failure again.

[ MORE: New Zealand can spring upset ]

So, yeah, it’d be great if the U.S. was measuring its World Cup fortunes on Friday with a rematch against Belgium, or matching wits with Paul Pogba-less France.

Alas, that’s for countries that qualified for the World Cp.

Belgium vs. Mexico — 2:45 p.m. ET

Juan Carlos Osorio has called up a number of youngsters for this week’s matches against Belgium and Poland, but the pressure’s going to be on several veterans who want to ensure their places in Russia.

On the old side, look out for LA Galaxy attacker Giovani dos Santos to bid to impress more than he did in a moribund MLS season. And Oribe Peralta isn’t exactly a young 33.

Groningen’s Uriel Antuna (20) and Excel Mouscron’s Omar Govea (21) are uncapped players with Mexico, while 20-year-old Liga MX mainstays Edson Alvarez and Cesar Montes will also look to impress.

England vs. Germany — 2 p.m. ET

The Three Lions are without several big names including Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and fellow Spurs star Eric Dier is set to captain a young England side against Germany. Look for Chelsea loanees Tammy Abraham (Swansea) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace) to take advantage of their chances against Joachim Low’s Germany, who will be giving youth a chance at the back as well.

France vs. Wales — 3 p.m. ET

Chris Coleman’s Wales turns the page on a World Cup failure of its own, and does it without Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, and retired James Collins. France won’t have Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, nor Tiemoue Bakayoko, but has plenty of weapons in its squad.

Portugal vs. Saudi Arabia — 3 p.m. ET

The young Portuguese “B-teamers” gear up for its home friendly versus the USMNT by hosting a team nearly full of Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal stars.

Other notable friendlies (all times ET)
South Korea vs. Colombia — 6 a.m.
China vs. Serbia – 6:35 a.m.
Ukraine vs. Slovakia — 2 p.m. ET
Poland vs. Uruguay — 2:45 p.m.
Japan vs. Brazil — 3 p.m. ET