Real Madrid open to negotiating with Manchester United over Gareth Bale

The prospect of Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, back in his homeland's capital to put Juventus to the sword in Saturday's Champions League final, was the ideal script.

Frustratingly for the playmaker, the longer he stayed at Juve, the less likely he became to win the trophy.

This time there's a chance to achieve something yet to be achieved in 25 seasons of the competition.

Last year, when Madrid beat crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in the final in Milan, the club said almost 80,000 fans watched the match at the Bernabeu.

It brings Real's Gareth Bale back to Wales after he helped his country memorably reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016, while 39-year-old Gianluigi Buffon looks to become the oldest Champions League victor with victory tonight. However, despair in 2003 and 2015 Champions League finals keeps him away from one of the most coveted silverware of his career.

No team has ever defended their Champion's League trophy in its current format.

But the classy central midfielder, who now plays in the MLS for New York City, thinks Juventus are now a far stronger team and will beat their Spanish opponents in this year's showpiece final. "But what I would like to insist on, what's important is what he does professionally". I've got back more than I gave. Today I play in NY, so I'll watch once the game has started, but between keeping an eye on my phone and running home, I won't miss it.

I can't do anything about it now.

He also cheered Juve on as they faced Barcelona in the final two years ago - though as a Madridista that would have been a requirement anyway. Ha can see right through Juventus to the prospect of creating a piece of Champions League history. The Turin club has come a long way from their relegation in 2006.

Buffon's lack of success in the Champions League, is however mirrored by his club.

If Real win on Saturday, Zidane will be the first manager to win back to back European Cups since AC Milan's Arrigo Sacchi in 1989 and 1990. If the separating criteria is Champions League titles then he would equal Pep, Jose, Brian Clough, Alex Ferguson, behind only Carlo Ancelotti and Bob Paisley.

Zidane believes it should make for an entertaining encounter.

The Millennium Stadium clash could end with penalties and a report of today's edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (via ilbianconero)reveals which players have been chosen by Allegri and Zidane to have a go from the spot should the game end with a stalemate.

There haven't been many in Europe for some time at Juventus.

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