• La Liga

Real's Casillas hails 'match-winner' Bale

ESPN staff
July 30, 2013
Gareth Bale is the subject of intense speculation about a world-record transfer from Spurs to Real Madrid © Getty Images

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas rates Gareth Bale among the top four players in Europe and hopes he can one day be a match-winner at the Bernabeu.

The Spaniard also called on his Madrid team-mates to forget about their trophyless final season under Jose Mourinho and focus on winning silverware with Carlo Ancelotti.

And Casillas believes Bale, reportedly the subject of what could be a world-record transfer bid to prise him from Tottenham, could be the missing piece in the jigsaw for Real.

Real bid for Bale an offer Spurs can't refuse

Gareth Bale is reportedly keen on a move to Real Madrid © Getty Images
  • For a short while after the end of last season, Gareth Bale invariably reaffirmed his commitment to Tottenham whenever he was asked. At the time it seemed he meant it. Why store up trouble for himself with false protestations of loyalty if all along he was planning to move? Far better to say nothing and let reporters read into his silence what they will.
  • Click here for more

"He is one of the best three or four players in Europe," Casillas told reporters.

"All these big transfers are controversial for good or bad reasons, but he is a player who decides games. I am sure there will be a new player with us before the transfer window closes."

Casillas was controversially axed by Mourinho last season but refused to compare Ancelotti's impact with the Portuguese, now in his second spell in charge of Chelsea.

"It is too soon to comment on the differences between the new coach and the old," Casillas insisted.

"We have to thank Mourinho for what he achieved but we should not be looking back; we should be looking forward at a new era in which hopefully the club will be winning things."

Madrid assistant manager Zinedine Zidane meanwhile is keen for Bale to sign for Los Blancos "as soon as possible".

Zidane is hopeful a deal can be wrapped up soon for the Welshman, who is also reportedly a target for Manchester United.

"We're not going to give up on Bale", Zidane told Le 10 Sport. "It's impossible to forget about a player of his quality.

"It's only normal that Tottenham want him to sign a new contract but we've made it clear that he's one of our main objectives."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd