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How tempted were Real Madrid to discard Bale last summer?


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He's had an injury ravaged first half of the La Liga season, yet Gareth Bale has rarely failed to make an impact for Real Madrid when he has been back in the team.

It was no different this weekend when the Welshman scored twice as Real thrashed Deportivo de la Coruna in the midst of a difficult season domestically.

His six goals put him level with Cristiano Ronaldo as Real's top scorer in La Liga, yet there have been question marks over his long term status. 

Our European football correspondent Graham Hunter happened to be in Dublin today and filled Kevin Kilbane in on the situation with Bale.

"When Mbappe was the absolute priority for Real Madrid and they didn't have a Plan B, they were being told all last summer by Mbappe's people, crystal clear from the start, at least one of the BBC - Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo - must be sold otherwise Mbappe's not coming," Graham explained.

"Florentino Perez didn't really believe them but he believed that he could shift Gareth Bale to Manchester United. Gareth didn't want to leave."

Ultimately Mbappe went to PSG and the BBC remained in place and Graham discussed "sections of the media who disparaged Gareth Bale" whenever he doesn't score or has a dip in form. However, when he has been on the pitch, he has provided little ammunition for those critics.

"From the start of the season, whenever he's played, although he's been injured, he's been Madrid's best player, irrespective of away, home, which competition. He's in peak form."


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