Gareth Bale: Welshman 'happy' at Real Madrid

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale and Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton studied at the same school in Wales' capital Cardiff

Gareth Bale says he is "happy" at Real Madrid and is concentrating on their La Liga title challenge, amid speculation linking him with Manchester United.

Reports United may sign Welshman Bale, 26, rekindled when Zinedine Zidane replaced Rafa Benitez as Real boss.

After his hat-trick to help Real beat Deportivo La Coruna 5-0, Zidane's first game in charge, Bale said Benitez's exit was a "huge disappointment".

"But I'm enjoying my football at the moment so I'll keep going," added Bale.

The Wales international, who received a standing ovation after scoring his 10th goal in seven games, says Real and France legend Zidane inspired him during his formative years.

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"As a player he was incredible," said Bale. You try and emulate people like that. He's a legend not just at the club, but for football.

"We had a chat when he first came in, and no matter what I'll always give 100% on a football pitch and that's what I did [against Deportivo]."

Amid reportsexternal-link suggesting he might move to Old Trafford, Bale also did not rule out returning to the Premier League, where he starred for Tottenham Hotspur before a world-record £85m move to Real in September, 2013.

"Obviously you can never predict what happens in the future," he said.

Real's win over Deportivo moved them to within two points of second-placed Barcelona and four shy of leaders Atletico Madrid.

Bale believes he and his team-mates can continue the team's upward trajectory.

"We know what can happen in the league, we know we have to keep fighting all the way and we'll keep doing that until the last whistle," Bale added.

Meanwhile, Zidane has said he hopes Bale will continue to work hard in defence as well as in attack.