Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are 'really close' - Carlo Ancelotti

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo cost Real Madrid a combined £165 million
Champions League final: Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Venue: San Siro, Milan Date: 28 May Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary plus follow live text on the BBC Sport website and app
Watch: Gareth Bale: Euro Star documentary on BBC One Wales & Online on Friday at 20:30 BST

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are "really close" despite rumours of a rift.

The world's two most expensive players will line up together as Real Madrid bid for a second Champions League final win against city rivals Atletico.

"He's really close to Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos," Ancelotti said.

"Now he is more comfortable in his position, he knows his team-mates and they know him and he has more power."

Bale, who is returning to the San Siro Stadium, the scene of one of his most famous performances when he scored a hat-trick for Tottenham against Inter Milan, has publicly stated there is no rift with Ronaldo.

Ancelotti, who paid a world record fee for Bale, also explained that he had to convince the former Spurs man to remain as a winger during his time as manager at the Bernabeu, after his agent asked the club president to move the Welshman into a central role.

The ex-Chelsea boss was quoted at the time as saying Bale's agent "needed to stay quiet".

Carlo Ancelotti and Gareth Bale
Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a manager

"It was not difficult because I do not want to speak with the agent, the agent went to speak with the president and after that I explained my position directly to the player," Ancelotti told BBC Wales Sport's Gareth Bale documentary.

"The best way is that if the player is not comfortable he has to come to the manager but I understand the world of football. When I played I didn't have an agent and now there are agents.

"In that situation I spoke directly with Gareth. I said I understand he would be more comfortable in a different position but I have to think about the team and for me the best position for him was on the right side."

Ancelotti, who is succeeding Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola at FC Bayern Munich, has no doubts Bale's tenure in Spain will be a long one despite rumours he could move back to the Premier League.

"He's a fantastic player and talent. My experience with him at Real Madrid was really good," he told BBC Sport.

"It's not easy for a player to come in from another country but the first year he did really well. He showed fantastic quality and his future at Real Madrid will be long."