Real Madrid have opened negotiations with Gareth Bale over extending the Welshman’s contract at the Bernabeu, according to Marca.
Bale has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent months but the report claims that Madrid are likely to agree fresh terms with Bale by the summer.
The forward, whose current contract expires in 2019, has scored 13 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions this term, including a hat-trick in Zinedine Zidane’s first game as head coach against Deportivo La Coruna earlier this month.
Bale’s potential new deal is said to be an indication of his standing within the Madrid dressing room, with the club keen to reward him for an improved attitude as of late.
He was reportedly unhappy with the departure of Rafael Benitez but Zidane recently described Bale as a “key player”.
The report, combined with Madrid’s recent transfer ban, seems to have put an end to suggestions that the 26-year-old will move to Old Trafford anytime soon. It looks like Louis van Gaal will have to search elsewhere for a marquee signing.