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Sanchez deal 'so close'; Wenger waits


Gareth Bale prepared to fight for Real Madrid place amid Kylian Mbappe talk

ESPN FC's La Liga correspondent Sid Lowe explains why Gareth Bale is more likely to remain at Real Madrid than go to Man United.

SKOPJE, Macedonia -- Gareth Bale says he is ready to fight Kylian Mbappe for his place at Real Madrid instead of swapping the Santiago Bernabeu for Manchester United this summer.

Jose Mourinho mischievously suggested ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup that United would be in for Bale if he got any indication that the Wales international is not in Madrid's plans for next season.

Zinedine Zidane picked Bale from the start as Madrid won a third UEFA Super Cup in four years, leading Mourinho to say afterwards the chase was over before it had started.

And even the prospect of the European champions reportedly spending £161 million on Monaco teenager Mbappe has not convinced Bale it is time to leave.

Asked if he was happy to fight for his place despite speculation Madrid are looking to bring in Mbappe, he said: "I feel like I'm happy to fight for my place. We're all fighting for our places anyway. It's nothing new in football, it happens at every club, you just carry on like normal.

"I'm concentrating on my football, I'm concentrating on getting my fitness up, I'm happy I'm playing football, I'm winning trophies, so yeah, I don't want to move. There's not really much more I can say."

Even without Mbappe, Bale faces a battle to get into Zidane's team with competition from Karim Benzema, Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was named on the bench against United.

Madrid president Florentino Perez said after the game in Macedonia he is "not contemplating" selling the former Tottenham man, and Bale said he does not need any more assurances over his future.

"There's been no need for anything," he said. "Everything has gone as normal like it has every year. There's been the normal speculation like there is every year but, yeah, I think obviously it's a little bit more hyped up because we're playing Man United. It's one of those things.

Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to Manchester United.

"The club hasn't said anything, they're happy with everything and, yeah, for me, I just want to concentrate now on getting fit, on getting ready for the new season and playing as well as I can.

"[The speculation] doesn't bother me at all, I really don't read it. Obviously there's been a lot of it over the last few days that I get told about, it doesn't bother me. I've had it about 10, 11 years now so it's nothing new. [My family] are all settled. Everything is good, we're enjoying it."

Bale has already faced United twice this summer, once in California in the International Champions Cup and again in the Macedonian capital of Skopje on Tuesday night. There is also a chance the two teams could meet again when the draw for the Champions League group stage takes place on Aug. 24.

Bale says United are ready to make an impression in Europe's top club competition despite missing out on qualification in two of the last four seasons.

He said: "I see no reason why not, [Mourinho] is a great manager. He's done everything in football, he knows what he's doing and I'm sure he's building a great team for what he hopes to achieve there.

"I think it's getting there. Obviously I think by bringing Mourinho in, it's kind of boosted the club. By winning a few trophies last year, it did them great, and I think they're getting back to where they belong. They gave us a difficult game, and I'm sure they'll do fantastic this season."

Mourinho still wants one more attacking player before the transfer deadline to boost United's chances in Europe and in the Premier League.

Bale, however, is only thinking of adding to his haul of three Champions Leagues, three UEFA Super Cups, the FIFA Club World Cup, Copa del Rey and La Liga title at Madrid.

He added: "We're enjoying winning, enjoying winning trophies, like everyone would. So for us, we're hungry to win everything, still want to keep winning games, winning trophies. So we just carry on like that."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.


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