fifa15guide | Gareth Bale happy winning trophies at Real Madrid, not looking to leave

Gareth Bale has confirmed he is happy at Real Madrid after winning his third Champions League title with the club.

Gareth Bale wants to make more history at Real Madrid after pledging his future to the Spanish giants.

Bale received his third Champions League winner’s medal in four seasons as Real swept aside Juventus 4-1 in his home city of Cardiff on Saturday night.

But Bale was reduced to the role of bit-part player after recent injury problems, sent on only for the final 13 minutes at the National Stadium of Wales with the game already won.

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Bale’s injury woes this season — and the impressive displays of Spanish playmaker Isco in his absence — have led to suggestions that the Wales striker could return to the Premier League this summer. But the 27-year-old says he is determined to remain in Madrid and add to his impressive trophy collection at the Bernabeu.

“I have signed a long-term contract at Madrid,” said Bale, who last October committed himself to Real until 2022.

“My family is happy and I am happy, so yes we will continue what we are doing. We are winning trophies and I am happy.”

Real’s victory saw them become European champions for a record 12th time as Zinedine Zidane’s side became the first club to retain the trophy in the Champions League era. And Bale believes the current team has taken its place among the great Real sides of the past.

“We have won three Champions Leagues in four seasons so we have to be in that category,” he said.

“All we can keep doing is keep working hard and hopefully there will be more to come.

“I think we can get better. We are still quite young as a whole team and we have a great squad.

“Winning again adds to the history of this club. This club is the biggest in Champions League history ever, it’s great to be a part of and we want to win more.”

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Gareth Bale celebrates after winning the Champions League with Real Madrid for the third time in four years.

Bale now plans to return to full fitness over the summer after a mixed 12 months.

He helped Wales to the semifinals of Euro 2016 last summer, but missed three months of this season after undergoing ankle surgery in November.

Bale was injured again in the El Clasico against Barcelona on April 23, effectively ending his hopes of starting in Cardiff, and he later admitted he may have rushed his return following his ankle operation.

“My ankle will be fine in the long term,” Bale said. “It just needs to be given recovery time.

“There is scar tissue and all that and it takes time to get rid of it.

“I only found out I wasn’t going to start just before the game. But I always knew really because I’d only been training for five days with the team and I was really lucky to be involved, to be honest.

“I’ve worked double sessions for three, four weeks to get myself ready for this and recover from the surgery.

“But I will be able to rest in the summer, do some more rehab and then come back next season stronger.”

fifa15guide – Liverpool and Roma working to agree fee in Salah deal – sources

Gab Marcotti and Dan Thomas evaluate the latest transfer rumours, including Man United’s need for a target forward.

Liverpool remain interested in signing Mohamed Salah but are yet to come to an official agreement with Roma over a transfer fee for the player, sources have told ESPN FC.

No fee has been agreed for the Egypt international, but more talks between the two clubs are scheduled to take place, sources added.

Reports on Friday said that Roma rejected Liverpool’s £28 million bid for Salah, 24, while sources told ESPN FC the two clubs were locked in negotiations.

Salah, who nearly moved to Anfield in January 2014, has emerged as a prime target for Liverpool this summer following the best season of his career — where he scored 19 goals in 41 appearances for Roma in all competitions.

Sources close to the Merseyside club say Lazio forward Keita Balde Diao is being considered as an alternative option should a deal not materialise for Salah.

As revealed on Friday, Liverpool are keeping a close eye on the 22-year-old’s situation in Italy.

Mohamed Salah
Liverpool and Roma are at a stalemate in talks over a deal to bring Mohamed Salah to Anfield this summer.

The Senegal international has one year left on his contract at Lazio and there are currently no signs he will extend his stay with Simone Inzaghi’s side.

Liverpool have held a long-standing interest in Balde — a product of Barcelona’s La Masia youth setup — having sent scouts to monitor his performances in Serie A since 2014.

Meanwhile, Liverpool remain willing to compete with Chelsea and Manchester City for the signature of Virgil van Dijk, sources have told ESPN FC.

Van Dijk is a top target for all three clubs this summer, with Klopp extremely keen on adding a centre-half in the transfer window.

Sources say Liverpool are prepared to match the wages rivals are offering Van Dijk ahead of a possible move.

If Liverpool are to sign the Netherlands international then it will almost certainly take a club-record transfer fee to do so, with Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger recently saying the club could realistically turn down a £60m bid for the player.

Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

fifa15guide – Antoine Griezmann confirms Atletico Madrid stay after transfer ban upheld

The FC crew debate whether the time is right for Antoine Griezmann to leave Atletico Madrid for Manchester United.

Antoine Griezmann has told Telefoot that he now plans to stay at Atletico Madrid after the club were handed a transfer ban until January 2018.

Sources told ESPN FC that Manchester United have cooled their interest in the France striker and Griezmann had given mixed messages over his plans over recent months but expressed his support for Atletico shortly after it was confirmed that they will not be able to make any new signings until 2018 as the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected their appeal over a transfer ban. 

Last week Griezmann, who had said this week he was happy at Atletico and that his future will be decided soon, posted a message on his social media accounts reading: “Now more than ever #Atleti #Alltogether”

And on Sunday, Griezmann, who has a release clause in his contract set at €100 million (£87m), confirmed to Telefoot that he would be staying this summer.

“We have decided to stay [Griezmann and his sporting adviser Eric Olhats],” he said. “[The constant speculation and questions about his future] was pretty irritating.

“It is a difficult moment for the club and for my teammates. It would have been a really harsh blow [for Atletico] to leave. There is another beautiful season to be had.”

Atletico had been strongly linked with moves for Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Chelsea’s Diego Costa this summer before the transfer ban was upheld.

Asked about France teammate Lacazette, he added: “Yes it is a shame for him, because he would have come. In December, we will be knocking on the door again.”

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.