Gareth Bale has confirmed his expectation to be a Real Madrid player next season amid frequent speculation the world record acquisition could be sold in the imminent summer transfer window.
Bale may have played a pivotal role in ensuring success in the Copa del Rey and Champions League a year ago but endured an immensely difficult second season at the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid failed.
Manchester United have long been linked with a move for Bale as Louis van Gaal once again looks to make an impact in the transfer market, while Chelsea have also been credited with an interest in the coveted 25-year-old.
But Bale has moved to extinguish the suggestion that he could leave for Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge - or anywhere else for that matter - claiming he is ’settled’ in Madrid and it is his intention to remain in Spain.
“Of course, yes,” Bale told The Sun.
“I’m a Real Madrid player and I’ll carry on as normal. I am enjoying it and hopefully I can continue to.
“I feel settled. I’m looking forward now to playing and winning more trophies.
“My goal is to keep improving, performing and to win as many titles as I can.”
But will Bale’s desire to stay in Madrid have any sway on his future? The decision will surely lay very much in the hands of Florentino Perez, who has already demonstrated his every so apparent trigger finger this summer.
The Real Madrid president made the choice to sack Carlo Ancelotti as the club’s manager despite his Decima success and strong bond with the players - Cristiano Ronaldo among them - and perhaps Bale could be next in the firing line.
Manchester United will be watching with great interest, that's for sure.
Where do you think Gareth Bale will be playing next season? Let us know below!