Reports: Gareth Bale demands Real Madrid sign Liverpool player as Cristiano Ronaldo's replacement
Ben Woodburn impressed Gareth Bale in training for the Welsh national team
What’s the story?
Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale has urged the La Liga giants to sign Liverpool wonderkid Ben Woodburn, according to a report in Spanish news outlet, Diario Gol. The Welsh wizard has already witnessed Woodburn in training for the national side, and considers him an eventual replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo on the left wing.
In case you didn’t know...
Ben Woodburn has generated intense hype with his performances for Liverpool so far, including a goal against Leeds United in the EFL Cup, which made him the youngest ever goalscorer in Liverpool’s history. The Welsh youngster has yet to make a Premier League appearance as manager Jurgen Klopp seeks to ‘protect’ him, but Chris Coleman already called him up for the Welsh national side in the previous international break.
The heart of the matter
According to the report, Gareth Bale was left so impressed by what he witnessed from Woodburn from training that he immediately spoke to Florentino Perez, urging the Real Madrid President to sign the Liverpool youngster before his price rose. Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Woodburn, especially if their interest in Philippe Coutinho fails to materialise.
Woodburn mainly operates in the left wing, although he can play centrally too, which is why Bale believes that he is the long-term successor to Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Florentino Perez is reportedly willing to make a €25 million offer for the teenage sensation, although Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not inclined to cash in on the Welsh starlet, despite the substantial fee.
Either way, Madrid are concerned about replacing Cristiano Ronaldo in the long-term, as Perez believes the Portuguese star still has 5 good years left in him. That timeline would work out perfectly for Woodburn to make his breakthrough.
Liverpool are unlikely to listen to any offers for Woodburn yet, despite the astronomical price for the 17-year-old, as Jurgen Klopp rates him incredibly highly. However, with just two years left on his current contract, the Welshman might be tempted to leave when Barcelona and Real Madrid come calling, which might force Liverpool to cash in on their starlet this summer itself.
The footballing world has witnessed many ‘next Cristiano Ronaldos’ come and go, although Ben Woodburn is probably the authentic article. €25 million is a relatively modest amount for a club like Real Madrid; they could afford to take the gamble, if only to please Gareth Bale.