Wales boss Chris Coleman has advised Gareth Bale to reject the lure of a return to the Premier League and stay at Real Madrid.
Bale came in for criticism from sections of the Spanish media and Madrid fans last season for his perceived dip in performance levels compared to his debut campaign, but Coleman insists it is vital that his compatriot continues to star for Los Blancos.
“If I’m being selfish, from a manager’s point of view in terms of one week getting Gareth to come and play with us, I would rather him stay with Madrid because the quality is obviously there in La Liga, but the physicality is different,” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“The Premier League is the most unforgiving league on the planet and players get weary halfway through it, physically it is very demanding. La Liga is slightly different.
“The pressure is on him because he is playing for Madrid and every time he walks on the pitch the spotlight is on him.
“It’s not easy to deal with and there are only certain players that can deal with that and Gareth is one of those players.
“But personally I would like to see him stay where he is and I think he will stay, [but] I’ve not talked about it with him to be honest.
“He obviously gets on with it and whatever he wants to do, I 100 per cent back him.”