Zinedine Zidane has offered to mentor Gareth Bale and believes he can be the best player in the world for the next ‘four or five years’.
The Tottenham winger is primed for an imminent arrival at Real Madrid, who will pay a world-record transfer fee – and could be unveiled in the coming days.
Bale, still only 24, hasn’t played for Spurs this season and manager Andre Villas-Boas confirmed that he doesn’t expect the player to attend the game against Swansea City on Sunday.
And Madrid are already talking about the Welsh international joining their ranks, with Zidane keen to take a hands-on role in his continued development.
The former world player of the year should know what he’s talking about, given the £45.6m fee the Spanish giants splurged on his signing from Juventus in 2001.
‘I know what it is to be the most expensive player in the world and I can hopefully offer him advice and mentor him,’ the former France international told the Sunday People.
‘There’s always a lot of attention with a big transfer fee. As a player you don’t even think about the fee, but there is hysteria that comes with it.’
Zidane wants to calm that frenzy surrounding the move by offering support to Bale – helping him to handle any pressure thrown his way.
‘My door at Real Madrid will always be open for Gareth and during his first season he will need to use it. He was in the top three player in Europe last season, but he can reach even higher levels,’ he added.
‘He will get even better. We are looking at a guy who can be the best player in the world for the next four or five years.’