Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez has told Gareth Bale that he is central to his plans for the upcoming season and that he would not entertain any talk linking him with a move out of Santiago Bernabeu, according to the Daily Mirror.
The news will come as a massive blow for Manchester United, who were heavily linked with the player and were reportedly prepared to pay up to £100m for his signature. However, Benitez wants to build the team around the Welshman, who scored the winning goal for Wales in their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Belgium, which took them within breathing distance of qualifying for their first major tournament in over 58 years.
Bale revealed that he had a talk with Benitez regarding his future and seemed calm about his prospects for next season, where he is likely to plan an important tole for Madrid and his national team. It was a bittersweet season for the Welshman, having been chastised by fans for his ineffectiveness and failing to win a single trophy after winning the Champions League for a record 10th time in the previous season.
"I spoke to Rafa at the team hotel before the game, so I guess it was good to get a good win in front of the new boss," Bale said.
"Next season could be really special. Getting to a major tournament is right at the top of my list now, and it is on – so we will keep working hard.
"We know we are in a great position, but we will be focused when the next bunch of games come. There is a lot of hard work to do," he added.
Bale also got the backing of manager Chris Coleman, who insisted that the player gave everything for his team in the last qualifier, apart from scoring the goal.
"Gareth was fantastic, but that's what he's capable of. He was exhausted at the end. He had absolutely nothing.
"He had cramp 20 minutes into the second half, but I said to the lads before the game that they had to make sure they came off empty and didn't leave anything on the pitch," Coleman concluded.