German giants Bayern Munich are emerging as a possible destination for the 30-year-old.

Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit

read Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit

news Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit

Info Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit

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about Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit
  • 2019-07-22 05:10:30 7 months ago
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Gareth Bale appears to be on the verge of a Real Madrid exit after Zinedine Zidane revealed transfer talks are under way with an unnamed club – comments which prompted the player's agent Jonathan Barnett to call the Frenchman a "disgrace".

The 30-year-old looks set to leave the Bernabeu six years after arriving from Tottenham in a then world-record £85million deal.

Zidane confirmed Bale was left out of Real's squad to face Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup in Houston on Saturday because "the club is working on his departure".

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has been called
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has been called "a disgrace" by Gareth Bale's agent (Nick Potts/PA)

PA understands long-term admirers Manchester United are not in for the Wales international and a return to Spurs looks unlikely, but odds on a move to German giants Bayern Munich are shortening.

"He wasn't included in the squad because the club is working on his departure and that's why he didn't play," Zidane said.

"We'll have to see what happens in the coming days. We'll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better.

"Let's hope, for everyone's sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he'll move to."

  • Four Champions League titles
  • One LaLiga title
  • Three European Super Cups
  • One Copa del Rey title
  • Three Club World Cups

Zidane added: "It's nothing personal. There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done. I've not got anything against him.

"We have to make decisions and change things, that's all there is to it. You're aware of the situation and there'll be a change to it. I don't know if this will happen in 24 or 48 hours' time.

"The situation will change and it's for the best for everyone. That's how things go.

"I speak with the club, we've got decisions to make and it's a decision that's been made by the coach and the player. Let's see how things play out."

Zidane's public comments have not gone down well with Bale's camp, who told ESPN FC there was "nothing more" to add regarding the Welshman's future.

Agent Jonathan Barnett was unimpressed by Zidane's comments about his client
Agent Jonathan Barnett was unimpressed by Zidane's comments about his client (Nick Potts/PA)

"Zidane is a disgrace to speak like that about someone who has done so much for Real," Barnett said.

"If and when Gareth goes it will be because it is in the best interest of Gareth and nothing to do with Zidane pushing."

Despite being hit by a series of injuries, Bale has helped the Spanish powerhouses win four Champions League titles, the domestic league title and a host of other trophies.

Gareth Bale looks unlikely to be appearing in a Tottenham strip again any time soon
Gareth Bale looks unlikely to be appearing in a Tottenham strip again any time soon (Stephen Pond/PA)

However, his future at the Bernabeu has been the subject of plenty of speculation in recent years and Zidane said an exit is "for the best for everyone".

While a return to Tottenham is understood to be improbable, Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino left the door ajar following their 3-2 ICC win against Juventus in Singapore.

"I saw in the media (Zidane's comments) but I do not know which club is working to try to sign him," he said.

"At the moment I do not have any information from my chairman. I don't know if it is us or another club. It is not my job. It is the job of my chairman who is trying to build the best possible squad."

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Bale agent criticises Zidane as Welshman moves closer to Real Madrid exit

Zinchenko shed a tear over 'life legend' Kompany's City exit

Oleksandr Zinchenko admits he shed a tear when Vincent Kompany announced he was leaving Manchester City at the end of last season.

The Premier League champions last week released video footage of Kompany informing his team-mates in an emotional speech after the FA Cup final victory over Watford.

Kompany, City’s inspirational four-time title-winning captain, left the club in May to take up a role as player manager at Anderlecht.

He leaves a huge void as both a player and a captain after 11 years at the Etihad Stadium.

“I was crying to be honest because nobody was waiting for that,” said Zinchenko.

“But that’s football, nobody knows what could happen.”

In his speech, Kompany urged his colleagues to go on to win the Champions League, the one trophy that now eludes the club and the current group, who won a domestic treble last term.

Zinchenko said: “Nobody knew and we were upset about the Champions League because we deserved more.”

Zinchenko, 22, is primarily an attacking midfielder but has successfully reinvented himself as a left-back over the last two seasons to force his way into the side.

With no natural replacement for Benjamin Mendy, who has been hampered by injuries in that period, manager Pep Guardiola has needed to find alternatives.

Zinchenko partly puts his success in the role, particularly in the second half of last season, down to the influence of Kompany.

“I think it’s good for all football players, when you can play different positions,” said the Ukraine international, speaking in Shanghai during City’s pre-season tour.

“I cannot tell you my best position exactly. In the national team I play in the middle, in Manchester City at left-back, so I feel comfortable both sides.

“I’m still working on it, I’m still learning a lot. Last season Vincent was helping me a lot. Outside the pitch, inside the pitch, about this position.

“I remember a few times he took me after some training sessions. He was working with me for around 40 minutes or something to try and help me.

“For me he is absolutely a life legend. I am so lucky. He can be a manager, why not? He is the smartest guy I know.”

Zinchenko could begin the 2019-20 season next month as first-choice left-back. Mendy is yet to return to training as he continues knee treatment in Barcelona and Angelino has only just rejoined the club after a year at PSV Eindhoven.

Zinchenko said: “That’s why everyone is here. Everyone is waiting for the chance to show their level and to be number one.

“But every single day you have to show your level in the training sessions and the games and you have to fight for your place.”

Zinchenko was being linked with moves elsewhere last summer but such has been his development since that he signed a new five-year contract in June.

He said: “It’s a massive pleasure to be part of this club. It was a dream, to be part of the squad, to be part of this huge family. I was dreaming about that.”

:: Oleksandr Zinchenko was speaking at the Manchester City fanzone at PUMA’s flagship store in Shanghai, during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.

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Preview: Kitchee vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Manchester City will continue their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign with a pre-season friendly against Hong Kong outfit Kitchee on Wednesday.

City lost on penalties to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday and will be looking to return to winning ways at the Hong Kong Stadium.


Kitchee

Kitchee defender Dani Cancela pictured in May 2017© Reuters

Kitchee will be looking to give a good account of themselves when they welcome the Premier League champions for Wednesday's pre-season friendly. Not too much will be expected from Blaz Sliskovic's side, but they have previous when it comes to taking on English opposition.

Indeed, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal have all faced the club over the last seven years, with Spurs recording a 4-1 victory during their preparations for the 2017-18 season. United, meanwhile, won 5-2 back in July 2013, while Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw in 2012.

The team have dominated the Hong Kong Premier League in recent years, winning the trophy on six occasions since the 2010-11 campaign, which brought their first league title since 1964.

It is a team largely made up of players from Hong Kong, although there are four Brazilians in the current squad, in addition to two Australians, one Frenchman, one Hungarian, one Canadian, one American and one Spaniard.

Long-serving defender Dani Cancela was born in Spain and actually started his professional career with Deportivo La Coruna, but has made 11 appearances for the Hong Kong international team.

It will be a special occasion for Kitchee, who are now managed by former Bosnia and Herzegovina international Sliskovic. The 60-year-old took charge of the team at the start of July and has a good pedigree when considering that he turned out for the likes of Hajduk Split, Marseille and Lens during his playing career.

Kitchee, who finished fourth in the 2018-19 Hong Kong Premier League, will be the huge underdogs when it comes to picking up a positive result, but they have only lost one of their last eight matches in all competitions.

Recent form: WWLWDW


Manchester City

Ruben Neves and Ian Carlo Poveda-Ocampo fight for the ball as Wolverhampton Wanderers face Manchester City in the Premier League Asia Trophy.© Reuters

City started their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign by recording a 4-1 win over West Ham United in the semi-finals of the Premier League Asia Trophy last Wednesday. It was a dominant performance from Pep Guardiola's side, who had David Silva and Raheem Sterling on the scoresheet.

The victory over West Ham set up a final with Wolves on Saturday, which ended with a penalty shootout following a goalless draw. Nuno Espirito Santo's side missed two of their first three spot kicks, but still managed to triumph as Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva and Lukas Nmecha all squandered their efforts for City.

Guardiola's team only opened their preparations for the new campaign in the middle of last week, but now have just two friendlies before the start of competitive action. Indeed, they will face Kitchee and Yokohama F Marinos in their next two ahead of the Community Shield against Liverpool at the start of August.

It would be fair to say that both teams will treat the Community Shield as almost an extra friendly, but the fact that silverware is available makes it an important game. Meanwhile, the rivalry that has developed between the two sides makes it a bigger game than it perhaps might have been in previous seasons.

City will then open their 2019-20 Premier League campaign away to West Ham on August 10 before hosting Tottenham Hotspur, travelling to Bournemouth and welcoming Brighton & Hove Albion in their four league fixtures ahead of the September international break.

The Citizens had to be almost perfect last season to win the title - it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can perform as they did last term in the new campaign, but it could well be another exhilarating battle between comfortably the best two teams in English football as things stand.

It would be fair to say that it has been a mixture of youth and experience in City's two pre-season games thus far - that might well again be the case against Kitchee, although there is no question that Guardiola's focus will be switching from performances and minutes to readying the team for the new season.

City have been fairly quiet in this summer's transfer market, but Rodri has already made a big impression. The big-money arrival from Atletico Madrid has impressed in both of his new team's games this summer and will be hoping to get some more minutes in his legs against Kitchee.

Recent form: WWWWWL


Team News

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring their fifth goal against Watford on May 18, 2019© Reuters

Kitchee's team could have a familiar look to the one that started against April 25 in the AFC Cup towards the end of June, with Law Tsz Chun and Helio both making the XI.

Brazilian pair Fernando and Lucas Silva are also expected to feature for the Bluewaves.

As for City, Ederson, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus are all still unavailable following their exertions for Brazil at the 2019 Copa America.

As a result, Claudio Bravo will continue between the sticks, while the fact that Sergio Aguero - in action for Argentina this summer - is still unavailable could see Sterling feature through the middle.

Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker will both be hoping for starts in this game, while Angelino and David Silva could come into the XI having featured off the bench against Wolves.

Kitchee possible starting lineup:
Guo; Tong, Helio, Smith, Rodriguez; Huang, Vadocz; Fernando, Law, Cheng; Lucas

Man City possible starting lineup:
Bravo; Walker, Stones, Laporte, Angelino; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; Sane, Sterling, B Silva


Head To Head

Wednesday's match will be the first ever meeting between the two teams.


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We say: Kitchee 0-4 Manchester City

It is difficult to imagine a situation where City do not run out convincing winners in this match. Kitchee have previous when it comes to competing against English teams, but they will find it tough to contain the Citizens.


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