Transfer Talk: Liverpool downplay interest in Real Madrid’s Bale

Stewart Robson explains why he thinks Gareth Bale is afraid to leave Real Madrid, even if it means being stuck on the bench or left out of the squad entirely.
Gareth Bale scored, made a goal-line stop and missed a penalty in Real Madrid’s shootout victory against Arsenal.
International Champions Cup: Gareth Bale (56′) Real Madrid 1-2 Arsenal

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TOP STORY: Klopp rules out move for Bale

Last season’s Champions League winners won’t be signing Gareth Bale, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said speaking to Sky Sports

Bale is desperately searching for a new club after a recent fallout with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane led to the latter saying it was “best for everyone” if if the Welshmen left. It had been rumoured that Bale could be joining Chinese side Jiangsu Suning, but that depended on meeting his exorbitant wage demands.

Giving his thoughts on Bale’s link to Liverpool, Klopp said: “He is an outstanding player, I like him a lot but it is not about him. You have to create a team. A team is not a collection of the best individual players, they have to work together.”

Meanwhile, the German boss also told ESPN in an exclusive interview that there was no chance that Liverpool would pursue a deal to bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield.

United target Longstaff staying put

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has warned that midfielder Sean Longstaff will not be sold, amid speculation that Manchester United are lining up a £30m bid for the 21-year-old, The Sun reports. 

Bruce, recently appointed the new boss at Newcastle following Rafael Benitez’s departure, did not mince his words, saying: “We don’t want to sell our best young players, that’s for sure. So that won’t happen. I’m very confident of that.”

Believing that Longstaff will be a key figure in Newcastle’s squad going forward, Bruce even likened him to former United midfielder Michael Carrick.

Destination Barcelona for Junior Firpo?

Barcelona look set to become the frontrunners in the pursuit of Real Betis defender Junior Firpo, as the Spanish club submitted an improved £24m offer, Sport reports. 

The news won’t exactly be music to the ears of Manchester United or Liverpool, both of whom have been linked with the 22-year-old over the summer.

Barcelona had an initial bid of £18m rejected, with Betis hoping their Spanish counterparts can go as high as £27m to take him off their hands. It’s thought that Firpo could come in to compete with Jordi Alba at left-back.

Other options Ernesto Valverde is reportedly considering are David Alaba, Ricardo Rodriguez and Raphael Guerreiro.

– Rumour Rater: Bale to China? Alves to Man City?
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– After Atletico Madrid supposedly ended their interest in Christian Eriksen, Manchester United have asked to be kept updated on the situation regarding the Spurs playmaker, according to the Daily Mail. The Denmark international has just one year left on his contract at Tottenham and could be sold for around £70m. No official bids have been made.

– Not about to let a transfer ban stop them from being involved in the rumour mill, Chelsea have joined West Ham and Ajax in keeping tabs on Portsmouth youngster Leon Maloney, The Sun reports. The 18-year-old, often deployed as a winger, scored an impressive 26 goals for the club’s academy last season, and Chelsea are hopeful that they can reduce their ban and snap Maloney up in January.