Marc-Andre ter Stegen was described as Barcelona's "life insurance" as the German goalkeeper came to the rescue against Getafe.

Pedri's goal in the 35th minute was enough for Barcelona as they ground out a 1-0 victory at Camp Nou, preserving their three-point cushion over Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga.

Ter Stegen, a sturdy presence throughout, saved brilliantly from Borja Mayoral six minutes after the goal, standing up to the Getafe man and making himself big after Pedri almost undid his earlier good work with a dreadful backpass.

Grateful defender Eric Garcia said: "Marc is life insurance with us. Everything he brings us with his footwork and then his saves, he has shown it again. He is very important for us."

Germany international Ter Stegen said the points were "worth gold" after what he recognised was a sloppy performance from Barcelona, a week on from winning the Supercopa de Espana.

The hosts were without Robert Lewandowski due to the striker's suspension, and it showed, with Ansu Fati not posing the same threat and struggling to impress himself on the game.

Ter Stegen, with 13 clean sheets in 17 LaLiga games this season, said: "What I try to do is always be in the game. I was being attentive and at the right moment I was able to get closer and make it a little more difficult for them."

Quoted in Mundo Deportivo, he said: "I try to give 100 per cent, for myself and for the team. Victories like today's make us stronger.

"It's true that we had opportunities to close the game and we didn't. So you have to suffer until the end.

"Perhaps in some victories you have to suffer, but when we're 2-0 it always benefits you, and you finish the game earlier."

Xavi thanked goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for coming to Barcelona's rescue as they scrambled a 1-0 win over Getafe.

The German shot-stopper made a string of crunch interventions that meant Pedri's first-half strike was enough to bring three points on Sunday.

Barcelona stretched their league run at Camp Nou to nine games without defeat, but coach Xavi accepted the LaLiga leaders were well short of their best.

"We haven't known how to attack well, and in general we have been quite untidy," Xavi said. "We lacked aggressiveness and the knowledge of how to attack spaces better. We have won without playing well.

"There are times when you are untidy and things don't turn out as you expect, but even so the team believe, defend well, and all the players are generous in their collective work.

"We haven't been too sharp in attack, but we managed to keep a clean sheet again, so without having played well we got the three points."

For that, Xavi said Ter Stegen deserved rich plaudits, with the 30-year-old making three outright saves and commanding his penalty area expertly.

"We are seeing the best Ter Stegen that has been seen in a long time," Xavi said.

"In one-against-ones he has been spectacular. He is a leader for the squad, he is being decisive, and it is important that the goalkeeper also saves points."

Xavi is not overly concerned by his team's so-so performance, and he was thankful they found a way to win while playing beneath their usual level, even if Ter Stegen had to dig them out of trouble.

"I think that in 70 or 80 per cent of games we have been good, so I think that in general we are closer to a good Barca than to an untidy Barca," Xavi said.

"We will surely find ourselves with more games like today's, but there we must be more practical.

"Of course you want to play better, but the opponent also play and make it difficult for you, as happened today."

Pedri scored the only goal of the game as LaLiga leaders Barcelona maintained their unbeaten top-flight streak at home with a 1-0 win against Getafe.

The midfielder's first-half strike sent Xavi's side six points clear of Real Madrid, who face Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday, but it was far from a routine victory.

Getafe frustrated their opponents throughout with a resolute defensive showing, while calling Marc-Andre ter Stegen into action with several decisive saves.

Quique Sanchez Flores' visitors could not find an equaliser, however, as Barca made it nine games without defeat in the league at Camp Nou.

Getafe thought they had taken a shock lead four minutes in, Borja Mayoral drilling an effort into the near corner past Ter Stegen but the offside flag was raised for an earlier infringement. 

Having been limited to shots from distance, Barca found a breakthrough after 35 minutes as Raphinha found space before cutting across goal for Pedri to tuck home. 

Pedri's poor pass almost handed Getafe an equaliser but Ter Stegen produced a crucial save against Mayoral to keep Barca ahead at the interval.

Xavi's hosts continued to dominate proceedings in the second half as Getafe defended with resilience, though Ousmane Dembele went close after whistling a strike just wide.

Substitute Franck Kessie wasted a fine opportunity late on after firing straight at David Soria, but that mattered for little as Barca maintained their title charge.

Xavi has challenged Ansu Fati to prove he can be a leader for Barcelona while suspended striker Robert Lewandowski waits to return.

Fati only played the closing moments of Barcelona's 3-1 Supercopa de Espana final win over Real Madrid last Sunday as the club landed their first trophy since Lionel Messi left in August 2021. It was Xavi's first trophy as Barcelona coach.

The 20-year-old Fati was a substitute again for the Copa del Rey win over Ceuta on Thursday, coming on to score the third goal in a 5-0 rout.

His bit-part role is something Fati may have to accept given Lewandowski is a seemingly guaranteed starter when available to head coach Xavi. This weekend sees Lewandowski serve the second part of a three-game ban.

Gavi, Pedri and Ousmane Dembele have featured off the Polish striker, with Raphinha and Ferran Torres also getting chances.

Now it seems Fati may get to start against Getafe in LaLiga on Sunday, with Xavi saying: "He plays a decisive role in the team. He makes a difference and has that great communion with the goal.

"He is decisive and is being important for the team, and more so in the games that Robert is not there due to suspension he has to be a reference."

Barcelona are on a high after the Supercopa success, with Xavi saying: "This victory against Madrid means a lot to us, it gives us confidence and morale and makes us believe more.

"Now is the time to maintain our level and compete and fight for the three remaining titles."

They have LaLiga, the Copa del Rey and the Europa League still to play for, having been knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage, with Xavi determined to wring everything out of his players.

"You have to keep demanding and even increase the demands," the coach said. "Now it's easy to relax, and you have to avoid that and make everyone feel important.

"You can play better. The game against Madrid was excellent and brilliant, but you have to keep up the level."

Xavi said there are fitness concerns over Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong ahead of Getafe's visit to Camp Nou.

"They're available, but they're having problems again," Xavi said. "We can't play with players who are at 80 per cent. Every game is a war, it's a final."

Barcelona headed into the weekend with a three-point lead over Madrid at the top of the table, also knowing they had not lost at home in their 17 previous games against Getafe (W13 D4).

The Catalan giants no longer have Memphis Depay in their ranks after he made a move to Atletico Madrid this week, with the Dutch forward having told Xavi he was "not comfortable" and needed to play more often.

Xavi is unsure whether he will be able to make signings before the January transfer window closes given financial fair play limitations, but he said it "wouldn't be a problem" if there is no further movement on that front.

Manchester United continue to be the centre of plenty of January transfer window speculation.

Erik ten Hag's side are likely to be active in the transfer market following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit.

United are in the mix for a top-four finish but want to bolster their squad in January to boost their chances.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO OFFER €4M FOR WANTAWAY ATLETICO STAR

Manchester United are some way from making an agreement with Atletico Madrid on a loan deal for Joao Felix, with the Red Devils prepared to offer only €4million (£3.5m), reports Relevo.

According to the report, Atleti want €12-13m (£10.6m-£11.4m) for the 23-year-old Portuguese striker.

There has been no shortage of clubs linked with Felix, including Arsenal, but United are firmly in the mix for a cut-price forward option.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are willing to beat any offer Arsenal make for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Mykhaylo Mudryk, according to the Independent. The Mail claims the Ukrainian club will turn down Arsenal's latest £62m offer.

 Borussia Dortmund are monitoring the availability of Real Madrid's 18-year-old Nico Paz, claims Defensa Central. Real Valladolid and Getafe are also keen on taking him on loan.

– Sky Germany reports Liverpool's Roberto Firmino is drawing interest from Saudi Arabian clubs but the Brazilian is leaning towards extending his Anfield stay.

– Sport claims Barcelona will sign Inigo Martinez from Athletic Bilbao when his contract expires in mid-year.

– Barcelona are willing to let 20-year-old midfielder Ansu Fati go out on loan during the January transfer window to make space for new signings, reports Fichajes.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that Ajax have reached full agreement with Villarreal on a deal for Argentinian goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who will travel to Amsterdam to sign and undergo medical tests in the next 24 hours.

Manchester United have missed out on signing Borussia Monchengladbach's Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer who has reached a verbal agreement to join Bayern Munich, according to Sky Germany.

Carlo Ancelotti considered a "solid" defensive display cause for celebration as Real Madrid beat Getafe 1-0 to move above Barcelona at the LaLiga summit.

Los Blancos were far from their fluid best at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, but Eder Militao's third-minute header was enough to see them return to winning ways in the league after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Osasuna.

It was the first time Madrid had kept a clean sheet in eight LaLiga games this season, so Ancelotti was pleased in that regard, hailing his central defenders.

He was less enthused by Madrid in an attacking sense as they failed to add to their early opener.

"We were very solid and both Militao and [Antonio] Rudiger played a great game," he said. "We could have scored more goals, but at this point in the season that doesn't matter.

"Scoring early did not force us to be in a hurry, and we did not force our plays that much. We created many opportunities, but we did not score enough.

"The team has played very well, and we are satisfied. Last season here we were beaten, and today the team has been more solid.

"I asked the players not to risk passing late on and to ensure their passing was accurate because the score was very tight."

Madrid face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday, before a mouth-watering Clasico clash against Barcelona next weekend.

Ancelotti rested Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy for the short trip to Getafe, and the Italian head coach suggested he is likely to rotate his side for the midweek match in Warsaw against their opponents from Ukraine.

He is trying to avoid talking about the Barcelona game for now, but that fixture is taking on major significance given both teams have started strongly.

"I think the Clasico is still a long way off," Ancelotti said. "I've rested Benzema and Mendy, and it may be that on Tuesday I can rotate a little more."

Eden Hazard was an unused substitute against Getafe and has been limited to just 98 minutes of league action so far this season.

Ancelotti, however, said the former Chelsea winger will be called upon in the coming matches.

"Hazard is training well and will have his chance very soon," the Madrid head coach added.

Real Madrid leapfrogged Barcelona to the LaLiga summit as Eder Militao's thumping header secured a 1-0 win over Getafe on Saturday.

Los Blancos dropped points in the league for the first time last weekend when they drew 1-1 with Osasuna, but they bounced back to winning ways at Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

The only goal of the game was scored after just three minutes when Militao powered home Luka Modric's left-wing corner from close range – the Brazil international's first goal of the season.

The result saw Carlo Ancelotti's men jump above Barcelona, who they face next weekend, into top spot, although Xavi's men will usurp them if they beat Celta Vigo on Sunday.

Madrid wasted little time stamping their authority on the game as Militao stole in at the near post to convert Modric's corner from three yards.

Fabrizio Angileri flashed narrowly wide for Getafe soon after, while at the other end David Soria kept out a header from Vinicius Junior.

The Brazilian was awarded a penalty shortly before half-time after being brought down by Luis Milla, but referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz reversed his decision after VAR spotted that the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.

The second half started at a frantic pace, with Soria denying Aurelien Tchouameni and Andriy Lunin getting down quickly to keep out Carles Alena's strike inside the opening minutes.

Madrid were denied a second goal shortly before the hour mark as VAR spotted Rodrygo was offside before his cool finish over Soria, but it mattered little in the end as Madrid saw the game out to seal all three points.

What does it mean? Stubborn defence helps Los Blancos to victory

Madrid were winless in their last two visits to Getafe, failing to score in both, so Ancelotti will be relieved they took maximum points against their neighbours this time.

The Italian will also be pleased his side kept a clean sheet for the first time in eight LaLiga games this season.

Magical Modric

Modric's corner for Militao's header took the Croatian maestro up to 50 assists in LaLiga. He became the sixth Madrid player to reach this tally in the competition since the 2003-04 campaign, after Karim Benzema (103), Cristiano Ronaldo (87), Marcelo (63), Toni Kroos (59) and Guti (53).

Militao shines at both ends

He ensured the headlines were his with the decisive goal, yet Militao was just as effective at the back for Madrid. The 24-year-old made a joint game-high five clearances, while no Madrid player made more than his two blocks.

What's next?

Madrid are in Champions League action against Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw on Tuesday, before El Clasico takes place on Sunday. Getafe, meanwhile, visit Rayo Vallecano on Friday.

Carlo Ancelotti acknowledges Karim Benzema is "a bit tired" following his return from injury, but has refused to rule out using the striker when Real Madrid face Getafe on Saturday.

Benzema missed three weeks after sustaining a thigh injury in the Champions League win over Celtic last month, returning to Los Blancos' side for last week's 1-1 draw with Osasuna.

The France striker crashed a late penalty against the crossbar in that match as Madrid dropped points for the first time this season in LaLiga, and also failed to impress in Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League win over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Benzema failed to score despite recording eight shots totalling 0.93 expected goals (xG) in that contest, and Spanish media reports had suggested he was doubtful for the trip to Getafe.

However, Ancelotti insists Benzema has not been ruled out of Saturday's game, saying: "Benzema has played two full games after being out for a month, he's a bit tired. 

"He's not ruled out. If he's fine tomorrow, he can play. I see the usual Karim, we don't have to worry. 

"It may be that he rests in Getafe, we'll see, we don't want to force anything."

Ancelotti revealed only two players had asked him for a rest during his long coaching career, adding: "The players are not so honest when they are tired. 

"I prefer that they tell me that they are loaded and avoid injuries, but it has only happened to me twice in 30 years: Pepe and [Clarence] Seedorf." 

If Benzema does feature on Saturday, he will look to extend a fine run of form on the road. The Ballon d'Or favourite has scored nine away goals in LaLiga in 2022, more than any other player, finding the net in six of his last nine away appearances.

Ancelotti offered a positive update on the fitness of Thibaut Courtois, who has missed Madrid's last two games due to a hernia issue, confirming he should be available for next week's Clasico meeting with Barcelona.

"Courtois is improving from his inflammation, it's getting better," he said. "We'll see if he gets to Warsaw [to face Shakhtar on Tuesday], but he'll be safe in the Clasico."

Ancelotti was also asked about the future of midfielder Toni Kroos, who is yet to sign an extension to his Madrid contract, which expires next year.

The Italian coach is relaxed about the situation, though, adding: "Kroos never gets angry, he never feels the pressure. Sometimes I ask him if he's nervous, and he always says no. 

"The renewal is in his hands, if he wants to renew, Real Madrid will be very happy."

Diego Simeone hopes Antoine Griezmann will stay with Atletico Madrid on a long-term basis after the France international helped Los Colchoneros make a positive start in LaLiga.

Griezmann came off the bench to score Atletico's third goal in a dominant opening-day win at Getafe on Monday, with Joao Felix recording three assists and Alvaro Morata scoring twice in a 3-0 triumph.

The 2018 World Cup winner is 12 months into a two-year loan spell in the Spanish capital, having endured a largely unhappy period with Barcelona between 2019 and 2021.

Reports suggest Atletico have an obligation to buy Griezmann should he hit a minimum number of appearances in LaLiga this season, and Simeone is keen to keep the 31-year-old.

"We talked about it in the Getafe post-game. I have spoken a lot about him, he is very complete, he knows what we want," Simeone said.

"Last year he already played some games in that role. We see him as adaptable because he has vision of the game, technique, he allows us to play with a more offensive player elsewhere. 

"I hope he continues with us, I appreciate him and I love him. 

"Hopefully he can continue in the line that he had in pre-season and in this Getafe game."

Only Joao Felix (13), Angel Correa (13) and the since-departed Luis Suarez (10) bettered Griezmann's tally of eight goals in all competitions for Atletico last season, despite the France forward making just 27 starts.

Meanwhile, Griezmann will be looking to build on his opening-day goal against a favoured opponent when Atletico host Villarreal on Sunday, having scored four goals in his last four outings against the Yellow Submarine in LaLiga.

It was Griezmann's fellow attacker Joao Felix who stole the headlines last time out, however, becoming the first player to provide three assists on LaLiga's first matchday since Jordi Cruyff did so against Las Palmas in 2000.

But Simeone was unwilling to get carried away with his praise for either him or in-form strike partner Morata, adding: "We are starting LaLiga. It is early to make such a deep reflection. 

"They are in a good moment, they had a great pre-season, they are both excited. They have maturity. Let's hope they continue like this."

Diego Simeone says "things come naturally" to Joao Felix after he starred in Atletico Madrid's season opener win over Getafe, though the Argentine admitted that Alvaro Morata's future is out of his hands.

The duo were the star performers for the Rojiblancos as they helped steer their side to a 3-0 win on Monday evening, with the former bagging all three assists and the latter netting a brace.

It marked an impressive return to the field in Atletico colours for both, with Felix having spent the end of last season sidelined through injury, and Morata spending the prior two campaigns on loan at Juventus.

Felix, in particular, delivered an assured performance that showcased his growth for Simeone, who said the Portuguese star's talent helps his game speak for itself.

"He looks more mature, stronger," he stated. "He showed last season until he had to leave due to injury. He is growing, [he] shows maturity, [he] sees more than the others.

"You don't have to force anything. Things come naturally and he has worked to get to this point. He has talent, he has a goal, and hopefully he can support everything he says here on the field."

Morata famously signed for Atletico following a loan move from Chelsea in 2020, only to promptly be loaned back out to former club Juventus for the subsequent two seasons.

The subject of his future remains up in the air beyond the end of the transfer window, and Simeone admitted he does not know what the next steps will be for the Spanish international, though he hopes for the star to remain.

"I am not the owner of the club, I am the coach," he added. "He is doing very well, working in an extraordinary way, and we hope that Morata will continue with us.

"I think that all footballers have to have confidence to do important things. He came with humility, desire to work, without demanding anything, striving to get to this shape and that is what we want to see."

Alvaro Morata netted a brace as Atletico Madrid got their new LaLiga season off to a winning start with a 3-0 victory over a spirited Getafe side on Monday.

The Spanish international struck in both halves to help Diego Simeone's side kick off their campaign on a triumphant note at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, with Antoine Griezmann adding the third for the visitors.

Quique Sánchez Flores could well feel the final scoreline did his side a disservice, but it will be the Rojiblancos who end this opening weekend with a smile on their face at a job well done.

In stifling evening temperatures in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, this local encounter proved a cagey affair throughout, punctuated by occasional moments of brilliance.

It was one such sublime passage of interplay that saw Atletico carve out their opener, with Morata the recipient of a fluid succession of passes down the middle before planting a low finish beyond David Soria.

Carles Alena returned fire seven minutes out from the interval with a ranged effort just wide of the mark, while Borja Mayoral rattled the crossbar, but otherwise both teams tended towards a more physical kind of encounter.

Getafe remained fiercely competitive however – but when Joao Felix picked off a poor pass from the back to send Morata back through again just shy of the hour mark, the latter effectively sealed the deal.

Griezmann's breakaway finish moments after Mayoral steered a header past the wrong side of the post with a quarter-hour to spare confirmed the victory – and sets the stage for the potential of another great title battle this term.

Real Madrid have confirmed the departure of forward Borja Mayoral, who has joined Getafe on a five-year deal.

The 25-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Getafe, scoring six goals in 18 matches, and leaves Madrid after 15 years associated with the Spanish giants.

With Madrid, Mayoral has won the Champions League, Club World Cup, Super Cup and Supercopa de Espana, although he never quite established himself as a regular within the first-team squad.

Mayoral made his debut for Madrid in 2015 but subsequently went on loan to Wolfsburg for the 2016-17 season, returning to the Santiago Bernabeu the following year.

A two-year loan with Levante was followed by a two-season spell with Roma, which was cut short in January with Getafe taking over the deal for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign before securing his permanent signing.

Gareth Bale has suggested the standard of football he competes at in the build-up to the World Cup does not make "too much of a difference", amid continued speculation over a move to Cardiff City.

The Wales international will end a nine-year spell with Real Madrid and become a free agent at the end of June when his contract expires.

Bale, who helped Wales to their first World Cup qualification since 1958, has been linked with a host of clubs across Europe and the United States.

Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman is said to have flown to the United Kingdom to start discussions with the 32-year-old, attempting to bring the forward back to his hometown club.

Wales coach Rob Page declared a deal with Cardiff would "tick all the right boxes", while the veteran attacker's agent Jonathan Barnett revealed his next move will not be driven by money.

Bale, speaking on Monday before a Nations League clash with the Netherlands, refused to rule out a move to the Championship side as he outlined his plans to discuss his next career move with Page.

"It's something I guess I need to sit down and go through," Bale told reporters at a pre-match news conference.

"Not just with my family, but with the manager here [Page], with the physios here that we use, to see what would give me the best chance of being fit come November and December.

"I don't really know if the standard makes too much of a difference. A football game is a football game.

"I feel like I'll never really lose my quality on the ball. I guess it's a conversation to be had.

"I need time to think what's the best move for me, my family, my kids, and hopefully we'll sort that over the summer. I have options."

 

Bale won 16 trophies during his time with Madrid but rarely featured in the 2021-22 campaign, in which Los Blancos lifted the La Liga title and the Champions League.

He played in seven of Madrid's 56 matches in all competitions – 13 per cent – with just four of those being starts.

But Bale was still on hand to help Wales to the World Cup in Qatar, their 64-year wait the longest gap between qualification for world football's showpiece tournament.

While Bale's deflected free-kick off the head of Andriy Yarmolenko was enough to secure play-off success over Ukraine, he knows he still has to build his fitness.

"Ideally I would have had more games coming in [to camp] so I would have been even fitter and not had to recover as much as I am at the moment," he added.

"I've been available for quite a lot of the games in Spain. Sometimes you just don't get picked so people assume that you're injured.

"[he next step] is going to be massively important. I need to make sure I'm playing games and I'm as fit as possible.

"Sometimes I'm able to get away with it, but ideally I want to go into a World Cup playing games and being as fit for as long as I can on the pitch."

Wales forward Gareth Bale will not rush into a decision on his club future, but has categorically ruled out a move to LaLiga side Getafe.

Bale will become a free agent at the end of the month when his contract with Real Madrid, where he has spent the past nine years, officially expires.

The 32-year-old has been linked with an array of clubs across Europe and in the United States, one of those being Madrid-based Getafe.

Speaking earlier this week, Getafe president Angel Torres claimed the Spanish side had been contacted by Bale's representatives regarding a possible transfer.

However, Bale denied that was the case when speaking at a news conference that was again dominated by questions regarding his next career move.

Asked if he was close to making a decision, the former Tottenham man laughed and said: "No. But I'm not going to Getafe, that's for sure.

"I just want to be playing going into the World Cup to be as fit as I can. The manager saying ideally he wants everybody to be playing, and everybody wants to be playing.

"Hopefully I can enjoy my holiday and then decide where I want to be and what I want to do to try and play games to be as fit as I can for the World Cup."

Bale won 16 trophies during his time with Madrid, but he barely played in the 2021-22 campaign, which ended with Los Blancos winning a LaLiga and Champions League double.

 

He featured in seven of Madrid's 56 matches in all competitions – 13 per cent – with just four of those being starts.

"Once I get back into playing regular football, my body will get more robust and a bit better," Bale said on Friday.

"It's very difficult when you're in and out of a team to get a rhythm in terms of your fitness and health. 

"Any player will tell you, playing week-in week-out, your body becomes more robust, you get used to it and you get fitter. I just need to play games and I'll be good to go.

"I guess whoever I go to it'll be a win-win because hopefully I'll be playing well and getting myself ready. 

"Once these internationals are over, I'll have plenty of time to go on holiday and decide my future then."

Bale inspired Wales to their first World Cup since 1958 with victory over Ukraine in last Sunday's play-off qualifying final, ending any talk of an early retirement.

That 64-year gap is the biggest between qualifications for a World Cup tournament of any nation in history, though there is uncertainty over who will be in charge of Wales in Qatar.

Rob Page has been in caretaker charge since Ryan Giggs stepped aside following his arrest on assault charges in November 2020, allegations which he denies.

Giggs' trial is due to be held in August, but Bale believes Page deserves to remain in the post.

"I think he is the long-term manager," Bale said. "I don't think there is any question in the changing room or from the fans.

"He's done an incredible job coming in in difficult circumstances. Everyone with him has a great relationship.

"We have that good mixture where we can have a bit of fun but, when we need to work, we work hard. We do it correctly. There's a great balance. He's been great for us."

Getafe president Angel Torres has claimed that the LaLiga side have been offered the chance to sign Gareth Bale following the forward's Real Madrid departure.

Bale will officially become a free agent at the end of this month when his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he has spent the past eight seasons, officially expires.

The 32-year-old is on the lookout for a new club to maintain his fitness after inspiring Wales to their first World Cup in 64 years with victory over Ukraine on Sunday.

That ended any talk of an early retirement, with a number of clubs being credited with an interest in Bale, including hometown team Cardiff City and sides in Major League Soccer.

However, Bale may yet remain in the Spanish capital with LaLiga club Getafe, who finished 15th in 2021-22.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday, Getafe president Torres told reporters: "I spoke with the representatives of Gareth Bale about 45 minutes ago.

"They have offered him to us. But we will have to study it with our technical staff and also the sports management team."

 

Bale won 16 trophies during his time with Madrid, but he barely played in the 2021-22 campaign, which ended with Los Blancos winning a LaLiga and Champions League double.

He featured in seven of Madrid's 56 matches in all competitions – 13 per cent – with just four of those being starts.

Confirming his departure from Madrid last week, Bale tweeted: "I arrived here nine years ago as a young man who wanted to realise my dream of playing for Real Madrid. 

"To wear the pristine white kit, to wear the crest on my chest, to play at the Bernabeu, to win titles and to be part of what it's so famous for, to win the Champions League.

"I can now look back, reflect and say with honesty that this dream became a reality and much, much more.

"To be a part of this club's history and to achieve what we achieved while I was a Real Madrid player, has been an incredible experience and one I will never forget.

"I also want to thank president Florentino Perez, Jose Angel Sanchez and the board for giving me the opportunity to play for this club.

"Together we were able to create some moments that will live forever in the history of this club and football. It has been an honour."

Page 1 of 4
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.