The manager expected to be unveiled as Real Madrid’s new head coach, Rafael Benitez, is ready to make Gareth Bale the new ‘main man’ at the Bernabeu in place of three-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
This is according to the Telegraph, who understand Bale may even get the opportunity to play through the middle under the former Liverpool and Valencia coach.
Furthermore if Benitez is unable to successfully incorporate both Bale and Ronaldo into his team next season, the latter could be sold, according the sources in Spain.
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Benitez is expected to be confirmed as Real Madrid’s new manager by the weekend after the club’s president Florentino Perez announced the dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti on Monday.
Napoli, Benitez’s current employers, announced earlier this week that a press conference will be held on Thursday - presumably to announce the Spanish coach’s departure from the San Paolo.
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Bale keen to stay at Real Madrid
Perez will hope Benitez can bring the best out of Bale, who has endured a difficult second season at the Bernabeu.
The most expensive footballer of all time, who Real Madrid signed for £85.3 million from Tottenham in the summer of 2013, has failed to produce his best form after an excellent debut campaign at the Bernabeu.
Linked with Manchester United and Chelsea in recent months, it’s understood that the Wales international is determined to stick it out at Real Madrid.
On Tuesday night, Bale wished Ancelotti all the best for the future, and told fans he will be back even stronger next term.
“Not the end of the season we had hoped for, we always want to win trophies!” the versatile forward wrote. “Will be working hard in the off season and looking forward to coming back next season stronger with @realmadrid #HalaMadrid”
Karim Benzema could leave instead
Perez remains a loyal fan of Benzema, but the opportunity to bring the best out of the club’s record-signing Bale may tempt the Real Madrid president to cash in.
It remains to be seen how effective Bale would be as a centre-forward - and how this might affect Cristiano Ronaldo - but it’s clear that Benitez is prepared to shake things up at Real Madrid.
Should Rafael Benitez sell Cristiano Ronaldo and/or Karim Benzema in order to get the best out of Gareth Bale? Have your say in the comments below!