Francisco Isco scored twice and Cristiano Ronaldo added another goal Sunday to give Real Madrid a 3-1 win over Athletic Bilbao with the club’s drawn-out negotiations to sign Gareth Bale approaching the close of the summer transfer window.
Madrid has until Monday evening to close the deal for Bale with Tottenham. Media reports place Madrid’s offer in the range of the record 80-million pound (€93.9-million) fee paid to Manchester United for Ronaldo in 2009.
After not scoring in Madrid’s first two wins to start the Spanish league season, Ronaldo headed in Madrid’s second goal in first-half injury time to add to Isco’s 26th-minute opener from Karim Benzema’s pass.
Benzema assisted Isco again in the 73rd for his third goal in as many games since joining from Malaga this offseason.[fbphotos id=570304289694347]
“Things are going well considering we have just started the season, three for three so far,” said the 21-year-old Isco. “We are getting better game by game. That’s our goal.”
Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti started Diego Lopez instead of Iker Casillas for the third straight match, but the goalkeeper could do nothing to stop substitute Ibai Gomez from getting Bilbao’s consolation goal in the 79th.
Barcelona visits Valencia later, while Atletico Madrid is at Real Sociedad, Sevilla hosts Malaga, and Espanyol plays Real Betis.
Before the match started, Madrid dismantled a stage it had set up inside the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium last weekend supposedly for Bale’s presentation. It is expected to go back up soon with the market set to close and Tottenham having spent €100 million ($133 million) this summer and with the chance to make most of that back by selling its star player.