Gareth Bale to Chelsea or Manchester United is English football’s only Champions League news
Transfer Balls: A look at football reporting in the tabloids. Today the Daily Mail says Gareth Bale is not heading to Manchester United. In “LEAVE BALE ALONE”, we hear Carlos Ancelotti, the Madrid manager, saying “Bale should not be sold under any circumstances” – “his faith in Bale remains absolute.”
Inside, across two pages, the Mail leaves Bale alone by saying the player is enduring a “nightmare”. Pete Jenson says that “if” Manchester United were to bid for Bale and “if” the Madrid fans wanted Bale out, then maybe Bale will be forced to leave.
And that’s how you pad out your Champions’ League reporting, by guessing about the employment of the tournament’s only British player.
The Sun also features Bale on its back page. We learn that Manchester United and Chelsea can have Bale for “at least £80m”. But over two pages, we’re told that Bale is “stale”. This makes him a “Price Tag Prisoner”.
There are two more pages on Bale in the Daily Mirror. In “I WON’T BALE OUT”, John Cross says that Bale is “determined to prove he can reign in Spain”. He wants to stay in Madrid for at least another 12 months.
We don’t hear a peep from Bale.
We do hear from Chris Waddle in the Express. His views are the paper’s lead sports story. He says Bale should “stick his chest out, tell his team-mates to pass to him and show them how good he is”.
The last word is from Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett, who opines in the Star: “This is only an issue in England.”
And it wouldn’t be were any English team or any other British player good enough to still be in the game’s top club competition…