José Mourinho says it’s ‘game over’ in Manchester United’s Gareth Bale chase

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid and Victor Lindelof of Manchester United battle for possession during the UEFA Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Manchester United at the Philip II Arena...

José Mourinho admitted it is “game over” regarding Manchester United’s hopes of signing Gareth Bale, following the 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid in Tuesday night’s Uefa Super Cup final in Skopje.

The 28-year-old has been the subject of speculation that Real may sell him but United’s manager was unequivocal regarding Bale’s future.

Asked if it the pursuit of him was over, Mourinho said: “I think so – clearly the club wants him and he wants the club – game over even before it started – everybody knows he is going to stay.”

Bale also rebutted any suggestion Madrid have spoken to him about being sold, with the forward denying he has had “those conversations”, having started the final before being taken off by Zinedine Zidane, the head coach, in the second half.

He said: “Not that I know of [have Real informed him he can move on]. I haven’t had any of those conversations. I am just concentrating on my football and trying to get fitness up after not playing regularly for eight or nine months. I’m just concentrating on my football and I’m not listening to anything. I’m not reading anything, although people tell me bits and bobs. I’m enjoying my football and playing as much as I can and winning trophies.”

Following what was Mourinho’s third Super Cup defeat as a manager, he gave his loser’s medal to a child in the crowd at the Philip II Arena, and then complained Casemiro’s 24th-minute opener was offside. It was difficult to adjudge if the Brazilian’s half-volley finish should have been chalked off as Chris Smalling may have played him onside. After Isco added Real’s second on 52 minutes Romelu Lukaku scored a scarcely consoling goal just after the hour.

Mourinho added: “We did well. We lost 2-1 which shows the result was [tight] and one of the goals was offside, so with a good video replay system it would be 1-1 and extra-time.

“ They had a period of dominance in the middle of the first half and we had dominance in the middle of the second half.

“We were playing against a team full of fantastic players and we fought for the result until the end. My boys have reasons to be disappointed but optimistic and proud and lets go for Sunday [against West Ham United in Premier League].”

Regarding giving the winners-medal away he said: “For me, the medal would go to some place in my house and for that kid it is the moon. Now – we deserve a rest and start on Thursday and go for it. I told them that during my long career I never had a group that I liked so much. I am really happy and going to fight with them – let’s go on Sunday and Old Trafford has reason to be behind them.”

Real’s victory makes them the first team to win the trophy two years running since Milan did so in 1990.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson at the Philip II Arena, for The Guardian on Tuesday 8th August 2017 23.56 Europe/London

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