Real Madrid's Gareth Bale: You have to keep evolving as a player

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Gareth Bale rejected the chance to become Manchester United's focal point to focus on winning more trophies at Real Madrid.

"I had to take a lot of painkillers to play".

The Wales global has been linked with a move to Old Trafford for some time, with the latest transfer window rekindling talk of a possible £100 million switch.

"I scored against Spurs in a pre-season game a couple of years ago and I didn't really celebrate then", Bale told the Daily Mail ahead of the return of the Champions League this week.

An injury-hit season for Bale, coupled with the increasing influences of Marco Asensio and Isco in the Real starting XI, had seen some Spanish media suggest that the former Tottenham player could (and should) be allowed to leave for United with Kylian Mbappé being brought in as his replacement.

Although it was never confirmed if United had made a concrete bid for Bale, the player has explained his motivations for staying at the Bernabeu after it was put to him that he could claim No 1 status at Old Trafford. "I've had to change".

"I had to take a lot of painkillers to play and yes, now I think I should have taken more time to recover so I could have played much better and be able to do all those things that I was unable to because of the ankle pain".

"It's been a long and eventful journey from coming in as a left-back to pretty much playing out on the right wing or at least up front". Just try to enjoy myself I think.

The European champions have drawn alongside the Spurs, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL in Group H, but will have to wait until next month for their meeting with the Premier League side. "I've had some great moments, and others not so much".

"It was a shame we didn't win as many trophies as I would have liked".

He said: "I don't really look into things like that".

"When you look at the team we had at the time, we feel that we should have won something". "When you look at the team we had at the time, we feel that we should have won something".