Bale signing would mean Ronaldo has to play as lead striker

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Given that Isco has already signed for Real Madrid this summer and Alvaro Morata’s goals for Spain at the under-21 European Championships arguably warrant greater first-team opportunities, it is difficult to ultimately see where Gareth Bale would fit in at the Spanish giants.

This doesn’t seem to be dissuading punters though, who have backed Bale in from 3/1 to 13/8 to move for a world record fee of over £80m, without the inclusion of a player or players in the deal.

Logically, Bale would best fit a right forward position, especially given his new-found penchant to cut inside and regularly shoot from distance.

With he and Cristiano Ronaldo two of the sharpest shooters around, containing this pair from either flank would be a challenging ask for any defence, but would arguably make Real Madrid a little one dimensional.

Meanwhile, they would also remain very narrow, something which already exists to a point with Mesut Ozil regularly shunted wide.

As Gonzalo Higuain has left and as yet not been replaced, the other option is to push Ronaldo into the sole striker position, which in turn would allow Carlo Ancelotti to fit in the majority of his attacking riches in behind.

Bale, Ozil and Isco would seem the likely three starters, but would be largely interchangeable. Starting Bale on the right would perhaps still make the most sense, with Ozil starting centrally and Isco floating around from a left starting position.

Angel Di Maria should not be forgotten either, who would be an asset for Madrid in games where extra width is needed from their wide players.

The big question is whether Ronaldo can be as deadly from such an advanced starting berth, as part of his ability is to arrive late on the scene into space that has been cleverly created by the movement of the striker.

Real Madrid are 6/5 to win La Liga this season and there is little argument that however they choose to line up, the capture of Bale would be a big plus in their favour.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.