It’s no surprise that Real Madrid have been linked with a move for Dimitri Payet over the past couple of weeks; the Spanish club’s president Florentino Perez finds it difficult to resist making a move for the star player at a major international tournament.
He signed James Rodriguez off the back of the Colombian’s eye-catching performances at the 2014 World Cup finals and you can bet your bottom dollar he’s watching the action at Euro 2016 with his chequebook ready beside him.
However, two of the tournament’s star players have been Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo who, of course, are already members of the Real Madrid squad.
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Bale has scored three goals in three matches for Wales, who finished above England in Group B, while Ronaldo made up for disappointing performances against Iceland and Austria with a true captain’s performance during Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Hungary.
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, both superstars will sign contract extensions with Real Madrid after the European Championships.
Bale set to sign until 2023
Bale will put pen-to-paper on a new contract which will keep him tied to the Bernabeu until 2023 - Los Blancos believe the Welshman deserves a similar status to that of Ronaldo - while Cristiano will also sign a new deal despite reports linking him with a move to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.
Zinedine Zidane is a fan of both players and wants them to remain part of his squad, along with Karim Benzema, who is also expected to stay at the Bernabeu - meaning the ‘BBC’ will remain intact.
After guiding Real Madrid to their 11th European Cup last month, Perez is very much willing to listen to Zidane’s demands heading into the new campaign.
Bale enjoying life under Zidane
Bale was understood to have been left disappointed by Real Madrid’s decision to sack Rafael Benitez in January, but he has since flourished under Zidane’s management.
"The first season [under Carlo Ancelotti] I found it quite good," Bale was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. "I think you’re running off emotions, you’re excited to be here. The second season really brought me back down to earth. But I think it was the best thing that happened to me last year. I think you obviously learn when you win but I think you learn more about yourself when you go through those hard times.
"It wasn’t a great year for me personally but I feel like now I’ve come out stronger. I’ve come out fighting. It’s shown my character. I feel a lot more comfortable, I’m a lot more involved with the team. I speak a bit better Spanish and I just feel like I’m growing again.
"Obviously in the first year as well winning the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. Such high moments. And then you have to emulate them again to keep right up there. I was in a different culture, a different language, in a different country. It’s difficult for my family as well not speaking the language properly. It was a difficult time but, as I said, I think you learn so much more about yourself."
Bale didn’t give up and now finds himself on the verge of becoming Real Madrid’s key player.
However, that might not happen for a few more years yet with Ronaldo also extending his deal at the Bernabeu.
Are Real Madrid doing the right thing keeping both Cristiano and Bale? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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