Bale will stay despite disgraceful fans: agent

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale losing the ball to Gerard Pique during the 1-0 LaLiga defeat by Barcelona last Saturday. The Spanish media has reported that the Welshman is unpopular in the Real dressing room but his agent Jonathan Barnett has refuted thos
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale losing the ball to Gerard Pique during the 1-0 LaLiga defeat by Barcelona last Saturday. The Spanish media has reported that the Welshman is unpopular in the Real dressing room but his agent Jonathan Barnett has refuted those claims.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MADRID • Gareth Bale's agent has criticised Real Madrid's "disgraceful" fans and told them that they will not force the Wales forward out of the club.

The 29-year-old was booed and jeered by Real's supporters after being substituted during last Saturday's 1-0 LaLiga loss to rivals Barcelona, a result that left his side 12 points behind the table-toppers.

In their previous league match against Levante six days earlier, Bale snubbed his teammates when they tried to celebrate with him after he scored the winning penalty.

That provoked a furious reaction in the media, which also claimed that Bale was unpopular in the dressing room because he speaks only rudimentary Spanish, and has missed social meals with the squad as he prefers playing golf and going to bed early.

But Jonathan Barnett, Bale's agent, said that there was no question of his client, who joined Real for a club-record £85.3 million (S$152.3 million) from Tottenham in 2013, leaving the club in the close season and that no club in England could afford his wages.

He has three years left on his contract at Real, which is worth £350,000 per week after tax.

Barnett said: "There has not been one single discussion about Gareth leaving Madrid. He isn't going anywhere this summer. The fans are a disgrace.

MORE RESPECT PLEASE

In the six years he has been in Spain, he has won everything... Those fans should be kissing his feet.

JONATHAN BARNETT, Gareth Bale's agent.

"This generation of Real fans will be talking about Gareth's goals for years to come. Frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves. Gareth deserves the greatest of respect.

"The way the Real fans have treated Gareth is nothing short of a disgrace.

"In the six years he has been in Spain, he has won everything. He is one of the best players in the world. Those fans should be kissing his feet."

While Spanish daily Marca said that Bale had been upset by interviews given by his teammates Marcelo and Thibaut Courtois in which they claimed that he does not speak much Spanish, Barnett refuted the reports.

"Despite what the Spanish press are reporting, he is happy," he said. "He speaks reasonable Spanish and there is no problem between him and the rest of the Real players."

Bale has won LaLiga once and the Champions League four times as a Real player, and has scored 13 goals in 33 games this season, although manager Santiago Solari has preferred Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Jr in recent games.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2019, with the headline 'Bale will stay despite disgraceful fans: agent'. Print Edition | Subscribe