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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Zidane tells Real Madrid to sell Bale before completing deal for Mbappe - reports

Primera Liga champions have been linked with the French teenager but the club's manager does not want an overload of forwards.

Gareth Bale finds his Real Madrid future the subject of speculation following the club's interest in Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe. Peter Casey / Reuters
Gareth Bale finds his Real Madrid future the subject of speculation following the club's interest in Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe. Peter Casey / Reuters

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reportedly told the club's hierarchy that one the famed "BBC" attack of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo will have to make way before concluding a deal for Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.

Reports emerged last month that Madrid had agreed a fee in the region of €180 million (Dh785.6m) with Monaco for the French teenager, although the speculation has quietened down in recent weeks.

However, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, the reason negotiations have calmed is due to the "sporting guidelines of Zidane" who, despite already selling Alvaro Morata to Chelsea this summer, does not want four main attackers to choose from.

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As well as trying to balance minutes for Ronaldo, Bale, Benzema and Mbappe should he arrive, Zidane is reportedly aware of keeping the likes of Marco Asensio and Isco, both of whom played key parts in last season's Primera Liga and Uefa Champions League double, heavily involved in the squad. It is for this reason, Marca claims, Zidane was happy to let James Rodriguez join Bayern Munich on loan.

Zidane reportedly first explained his stance to Madrid president Florentino Perez at their first meeting to discuss the new season before the Champions League final in Cardiff in June.

And it has been reported that due to his ongoing injury issues, it is Bale that is the most likely player to make way for Mbappe.

According to Marca, Madrid value Bale at €100m and have already sent feelers out to the Premier League to gauge the interest in the Wales forward. Manchester United, who tried to sign Bale before his move to Madrid in 2013, have a long-standing interest, while Chelsea have also been mentioned as a possible destination.

Bale, meanwhile, has made his intentions clear about his desire to remain at Madrid. In his four seasons at the Bernabeu, Bale has won three Champions League titles, the Primera Liga, the Fifa Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey.