Julen Lopetegui: 'Happy' Gareth Bale can fill void left by Cristiano Ronaldo

| Updated Aug 01, 2018 at 4:34pm



Julen Lopetegui insists Gareth Bale can fill the void at Real Madrid left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus.

Despite the Welshman being linked with a move back to the Premier League with Manchester United, the new Los Blancos coach says the 29-year-old is content in La Liga.

"He's very happy to play at Real Madrid,” said Lopetegui ahead of the pre-season friendly with Manchester United on Wednesday. “He's happy to be here, this is a fantastic opportunity for him to show his talent.

"I've talked to him like I've talked to everyone. He's with the team, he's happy, he's in line with our goals and it's a start of a new exciting path for us that I'm looking forward to."

And, vitally, the Spaniard who replaced Zinedine Zidane as Real boss, believes Bale can be crucial in filling the huge hole left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s £105m move to Italy.

He added: "We first recognise Cristiano as one of the most important players in the recent history of Real Madrid, he vocalised his desire to leave and the club gave him all the facilities to do so. We wish him all the luck in the world.

" And when it comes to our players, Bale and everyone else, we are completely convinced we have the players to move forward."

"Bale is a magnificent player with qualities and we are convinced he and everyone else can fill the void."