New Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has said that Gareth Bale “can help fill the void” left by Cristiano Ronaldo following his departure to Juventus.
Despite being linked with a potential move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, Lopetegui looks confident that the Wales forward will stay.
"Gareth is happy to play at Real Madrid," Lopetegui said during a press conference in Miami, USA where they are playing in the International Champions Cup.
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"Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the main players in the recent history of Real Madrid. He expressed a desire to leave and we allowed him to.
"Gareth Bale is a magnificent player, with so many qualities. He can help fill the void."
The departure of Ronaldo to Juventus in a deal worth £99m may have opened the doors for the 29-year-old to secure a regular spot in Madrid’s starting XI, which wasn’t the case last season during Zinedine Zidane’s reign.
Bale joined the Whites in 2013 from Tottenham for £87m and has since won four Champions League titles. He scored twice in the May final as Madrid beat Liverpool by 3-1 in Kiev.