x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Gareth Bale not assured of starting place at Real Madrid

Manager Carlo Ancelotti flexible on using most expensive player of all time, says his assistant Paul Clement.

Where Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid manager, plays Gareth Bale is going to be fascinating. Paul White / AP Photo
Where Carlo Ancelotti, the Real Madrid manager, plays Gareth Bale is going to be fascinating. Paul White / AP Photo

Paul Clement, the Real Madrid assistant coach, has warned Gareth Bale he will not automatically be guaranteed a starting berth at the Spanish giants irrespective of being the most expensive player in history.

Madrid's summer-long pursuit of Bale was finally concluded on Monday when the Wales international was officially presented by the nine-time European champions after passing his medical and signing a six-year contract at the Bernabeu.

The transfer is understood to be worth €100 million (Dh483.5m), making Bale the most expensive player of all time and surpassing the £80m (Dh457m) fee Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.

However, that does not necessarily mean Bale is assured of a place in Carlo Ancelotti's side, Clement has said.

"There's a lot of competition for places – no-one will be guaranteed anything," Englishman Clement told BBC Sport.

"Coach Carlo Ancelotti has a clear idea how to use him but things can change."

The prospect of Bale lining up alongside the prolific Ronaldo is a mouth-watering one for Madrid fans, but it remains to be seen just how Ancelotti will choose to utilise the Welshman, who could make his debut for his new club against Villarreal on September 14 when the Spanish Primera Liga resumes after the international break.

Clement, who worked alongside Ancelotti at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, added: "Carlo is flexible enough to use Gareth and other players in different capacities.

"At Southampton, Bale played at left-back which he also did at Spurs where he became a more left-sided player.

"He recently became more central. He's got that versatility.

"It'll be interesting to see how players fit in together. We'll be trying to find their best position and what's best for the team as quickly as possible.

"Gareth has the goalscoring talent and ability to set up goals for others."

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