Manchester United target Gareth Bale is to be handed the task of stepping into the shoes of Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid next season, according to reports.
Jose Mourinho admitted he wanted to sign Bale last summer and the Welshman’s claim that he needed more game time over the 2018/19 season in the aftermath of winning the Champions League in May sparked fresh rumours of a potential move to Old Trafford.
The transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, however, along with the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager has significantly changed the complexion of Bale’s predicament in Spain.
And according to the Guardian‘s Jamie Jackson, Lopetegui will meet with Bale this week and is expected to be handed the challenge of filling the void left by Ronaldo’s departure.
For the first time since joining the club in 2013, Bale has a chance to assert himself as the main man. He was, funnily enough, Madrid’s best attacking player towards the end of last season – better than Isco, better than Ronaldo – and sent out a huge statement with a match-winning display against Liverpool in Kiev.
Next season’s focus, to the ire of Mourinho, will be to successfully step out of Ronaldo’s shadow and become the club’s primary threat going forward. Any move to United will have to wait.