Possibly the biggest transfer story this summer, but not in the way you’d expect.
Gareth Bale is on the market having fallen out of favour at Real Madrid following a blunt 2018/19 campaign.
But there are not many suitors lining up around the corner to prise the Welsh winger away from the Bernabeu.
Indeed, exponential wages, his transfer fee, age and injury history have dissuaded many of the top clubs from entering the arena for the 29-year-old’s signature.
Manchester United are thought to be among the clubs most interested but a report from Sky Sports suggests that he is not in their plans for a permanent transfer.
There is though, talk of a possible loan deal and given Bale will fall further down the pecking order at Madrid next season following the arrivals of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo, it’s a move which would make sense.
Check out the video below to see Gareth Bale’s Transfer Profile
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Kubo recently signed for Real Madrid, with the Spanish giants describing him as “one of the most promising youngsters in world football”.
Chile, winners of the last two editions of the Copa America, will face Ecuador, Japan and Uruguay in Group C.
On Kubo, Vidal said: “He’s a very skilled player. There’s a reason why Real Madrid hired him. And we know him.”
Watch the clip above to see what else Vidal had to say about the ‘Japanese Messi’
Earlier in the day, Spanish giants Real announced the 18-year-old was joining the record 13-time European champions from FC Tokyo, to play for their B team next season.
“Being called the Japanese Messi is an honour and makes me proud, but I’m still not at his level and I prefer to concentrate on my abilities and strengths,” said Kubo from Japan’s Copa America base in Sao Paulo.
Like Messi, Kubo joined the Barcelona academy as a child – when just 10 – but left in 2015 after the Catalans were punished by world football’s governing body FIFA for breaking rules on signing under-age players.
His dribbling skills – which drew comparisons to Messi – made him a YouTube sensation as a child.
But while flattered by comparisons, he still wants to be appreciated for his own attributes.
“There are several players like me, but I’m me, not some other player,” he added, speaking Spanish.
Kubo wasn’t allowed to speak about his transfer so as not to let the issue deflect from Japan’s Copa preparations.
He has signed a six-year contract worth €2 million a year, according to Spanish and Japanese media.
Earlier this year, Kubo became the youngest ever goalscorer in the J-League, boosting his profile back home almost to the level of icons Hidetoshi Nakata and Keisuke Honda.
Kubo has a wise head on his young shoulders and is keeping his feet on the ground in Brazil.
“The most important thing is to absorb as much as possible” at the Copa America, he said.
“All I must do is express what I know how to do in the game, nothing more.”
He’s the youngest player in Japan’s youthful squad whose average age is just 22.
In fact, only six of the players had even earned a cap when the final 23-man competition squad was announced by coach Hajime Moriyasu last month.
“I’ve played with most of them before, I want to play with a spirit that will make them proud,” said Kubo, who only made his debut for Japan on June 9 in a 2-0 win over El Salvador in a friendly in Miyagi.
Japan make their Group C bow on Monday in Sao Paulo against champions Chile, who have “a strong mentality of never giving up,” said Kubo.