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Real Madrid has no idea what to do with Gareth Bale

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Extremely real, not made up phone calls from Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez paint a chaotic picture at Real Madrid.

Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group G Photo by Peter Sabok/COOLMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

What follows is a transcript of a series of phone calls passed to SB Nation by an anonymous source. We are unable to reveal our source, who asked to be know only by the code name “Definitely Not Gareth Bale’s Agent, Nope, No Sirree.”

Zinedine Zidane:

… right, that’s all sorted then. One refurbished BALE-6000, specs as detailed in the advert, and he should be with you Tuesday next week.

On a personal note, I’d like to say thank you. We’re in the middle of a major refurbishment here and, while the BALE — we call him Gareth — has been extremely useful for us over the last few years, he doesn’t really fit into our plans going forward. Finding him a new home has been a priority for me over the summer, and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to connect him with you. All the best. Thanks again.

Florentino Pérez:

Hello? He— yes, hello. My name is Florentino, and I’m calling from Meringue Industries. I understand you’ve recently spoken with one of our salespeople, Zinedine? Yes, that’s right, the BALE-6000. Bit of an awkward one this, but I’m afraid we can’t go ahead with the deal as agreed.

No, no, he’s definitely for sale. It’s just a question of the price. I’m sure you thought it was a bit low … yes, exactly. The BALE-6000 is one of the top models worldwide. Even second-hand, third-hand, we all know what a functioning BALE can do. You don’t need me to tell you all this.

Well, I’ve been through the deal and, while we’re happy to proceed with a deal, we just can’t let it happen at these numbers. It just doesn’t work from our point of view. So we’re happy to look at the price again, but if not— no? That’s fine. I understand. Thank you very much. Have a good day.


Hi there, it’s Zinedine from Meringue Industries calling. Lovely to speak to you again. I understand you spoke to somebody else from our office earlier? Florentino? Yes, well, I’m just calling to clear things up, and to apologise for the confusion …

No, no, nothing to worry about. In fact, it’s good news. We can go ahead with the deal for the BALE-6000 as originally agreed. And— what happened? Well, I won’t bore you with the whole story, but there was a bit of a miscommunication behind the scenes, an email wasn’t read that should have been, and — well, let me be honest here — Florentino jumped the gun a little bit. Not a problem, easy enough to fix. Which is why I’m calling.

So, we can get this deal back on track? Excellent. And again, I’d like to emphasise how personally delighted I am to get this deal moving again. You’ll love Gareth. You’ll absolutely love him. We’ve had such good times with him. Any questions, do get in touch.

Best to ask to be put straight through to my deck, in fact. Just to avoid any future confusion. Thanks. Take care. Goodbye.


Hello? Hi, yes, this is Florentino from Meringue. First of all, let me apologise for ringing you again — I’m sure you’ve better things to be doing with your time. Secondly, this BALE-6000 deal: I understand Zinedine called you again?

That’s right. That’s right. Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you that Zinedine is acting well above his authority here. I’ve spoken to the board and we simply cannot permit the deal to proceed. I’m sure you understand that a BALE-6000, even one with this many miles in its knees, is a valuable asset that we cann—


— hello? Hello? Is this working? Right, ignore Florentino. You want the BALE-6000, we want to sell the BALE-6000. He’s brilliant, is Gareth. He takes free-kicks, he runs dead fast, he can even work upside down. We just need to move him on. Please—


— was that him? It was, wasn’t it. Look, stay on the line, please. We’ll try and get this sorted out. [distantly] He’s done what?!

I’m sorry about this. It appears that Zinedine has barricaded himself in his office, and— oh my God! He’s gone out the window! is Gareth with him? Quick, call—


— look, meet me in town. Can you do that? I’ve got Gareth with me, I can hand him over immediately. You’ll love him, he’s brilliant. [distantly] Gareth! Put the golf club down! Put it down!

Sorry about that. You know what? I’ll come to you. I’ve got your address from the order manifest, I can be there in an hour. I’ll—


— are you back? Are you there— good. Look, we’ve contacted the police. They should be with you soon. Meanwhile, do not open the door, and do not engage with Zinedine. He’s become obsessed. We think he might be dangerous. Do not open the door!