Gareth Bale wants to stay at Real Madrid for the rest of his career and never came close to leaving the Spanish giants in the transfer window, his agent said Tuesday.
“Not at all – it was all stupid paper talk,” Jonathan Barnett, one of the football world’s most influential agents, said of reports linking the Welsh international to Manchester United.
“He is very happy at Real Madrid. Hopefully he’ll stay for the rest of his career at Real Madrid.
“He’s loving it there and things are going well for him,” Barnett added at the Soccerex convention in Manchester.
Barnett said that 26-year-old Bale, who cost an estimated £83.5 million (110 million euros), would remain the world’s most valuable player for the “foreseeable future”.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would also command huge prices. but Barnett said their transfer was also unlikely.
“In Spain they have clauses which come out and state how you much you have to pay so at the moment he (Bale) probably is the most valuable and it will be a while before someone breaks it.”
The head of the Stellar group with a stable of several hundred footballers said the failed transfer of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea from Manchester United to Real was a “complete mess up.”
Despite Real’s longstanding interest, their offer was only accepted on the last day of the transfer window and administrative blunders meant the transfer did not go through.
“I don’t think there is any Machiavellian plot, I really don’t, I just think someone has made a stupid mistake.
“It is the boy, the player, who suffers. I don’t know who is to blame but it is certainly not the player.”
Barnett and other agents on a panel at the convention also defended the role of the much-criticised intermediaries.
“The players have become more superstars. They have become more global and they have replaced the pop stars of this world.”
Ronaldo, Messi and Bale are all hitting “huge numbers” and “their marketing is bigger than even the basketball players or American footballers today”.
“People knock football but it is thriving around the world: the players are the new superstars and the business is thriving and a lot has to do with agents making it happen.”
Barnett also criticised the transfer system and called for the abolition of the twice yearly transfer windows to introduce 365 days a year transfers.
“These people who made the rules, which I think are completely illegal, they don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.
“FIFA read headlines and think our main job is to go out and broker a deal for a club.
“I don’t know who those rules are made for, but they are not made for football agents because they really don’t know what we are doing for a living.
“There is no dialogue and they come up with the most ridiculous things.” – Agence France-Presse