Jose Mourinho has given up on his pursuit for Gareth Bale after the Welshman started for Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday.
A day earlier, Mourinho had said Zinedine Zidane’s teamsheet in Skopje would provide a clue about whether Bale is in the Frenchman’s plans for next season, and the United manager said he would “fight” to sign the 28-year-oldif he was not.
But Bale was picked from the start as Real Madrid won the Super Cup for a third time in four years at the Philip II Arena, and asked whether his hopes of signing the winger were over, Mourinho admitted he was not encouraged.
“Clearly the club wants him, the manager wants him and he wants the club, so for me it’s game over,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “Even before it started, but it’s game over clearly because everybody knows he is going to stay.”
Meanwhile, Bale said he has been ignoring the transfer speculation and has received no word from Real Madrid about his future.
He told BT Sport: “I’m just concentrating on my football and I’m not listening to anything. I’m not reading anything, although people tell me bits and bobs. I’m enjoying my football and playing as much as a I can and winning trophies.”
Asked if Madrid had told him whether he could leave this summer, Bale said: “Not that I know of. I haven’t had any of those conversations. I am just concentrating on my football and trying to get fitness up after not playing regularly for eight or nine months.”
And Real Madrid president Florentino Perez also made it clear that the club plan on keeping the former Tottenham star at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking after the Super Cup win, Perez told Atresmedia: “I’m not contemplating it as an option. Bale is a Real Madrid player, we are very happy with him and he’s one of the best players in the world.”
Bale set up Isco’s goal for Madrid — and came inches from scoring himself as his shot beat David De Gea but hit the underside of the bar — before being replaced in the 74th minute by Marco Asensio.
And he said he was glad for the victory as Real Madrid look to continue their string of trophies under Zidane.
“It is obviously great to keep adding to the trophy collection,” Bale said. “It was a difficult game but I think we played well and controlled the game very well.
“It helped we have been training in 38 [degree] heat in Madrid. We controlled the game and deserved to win. We want to keep winning and every game we still have the hunger and desire.”