Is Gareth Bale set for Premier League return?
Every transfer window brings persistent murmurs of unrest surrounding Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid. Could his time in Spain be coming to an end?
On the 1st September 2013, the Welshman sealed a dream move to the Spanish giants. He signed for a then world-record £85 million deal from Tottenham earning £300,000 per week on a six-year contract.
In nearly seven years in the Spanish capital, Bale has won it all, including four Champions Leagues. However, under the surface his time in Spain has been plagued by injury, high-profile clashes with managers, a dip in form, the odd game of golf, and unrest from the fans.
If the Welshman thinks the grass is greener a summer exit could be on the cards. Let’s take a look at some possible destinations…
There would be plenty of potential suitors with Tottenham and Manchester United queueing for his signature.
A return to Spurs would be the icing on the cake for Tottenham fans. Signing Bale would require a huge financial restructure for chairman Daniel Levy as Madrid would seek to recoup the £85 million fee they paid for him. High wage demands may also prove to be a stumbling block.
Meanwhile, United are one of the favourites to sign Bale. They’re in desperate need of a reshuffle and a marquee signing of his calibre would go a long way to helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rubber stamp his identity at Old Trafford to challenge for top honours again. For this move to happen, Paul Pogba would probably need to be sold to free up some cash and wages.
It was a move that almost shook the football world. Bale was on the verge of joining Jiangsu Suning on a three-year contract last summer on a whopping £1 million per week deal until the deal collapsed.
The Chinese Super League has become a popular destination for players and managers looking for a quick pay day with a huge influx of money coming in to attract star players to the league.
A move to China seems to have passed for Bale. All foreign players can expect a £49,000 weekly wage cap from next season, which would result in a substantial pay cut from his current Madrid terms and could jeopardise his international prospects with Wales 80/1 to win Euro 2021.
The winger turns 31-years-old this summer and he may be casting one eye on the MLS.
Bale still has a lot to offer in European football but there is no ruling out a move to America just yet. A quieter life in Los Angeles or Miami could well appeal further down the line with LA Galaxy and David Beckham’s new franchise, Inter Miami exciting prospects.
Stay in Spain
Let’s be honest. It’s not a bad life is it! In his seven seasons in Spain, the winger has notched up four Champions Leagues, one La Liga title, a Copa del Rey, three UEFA Super Cups and three Club World Cups.
Bale still has two-years left on his current contract at the Bernabeu and a move would only materialise if he forces through a move himself.
He is unlikely to get a new contract under Zinedine Zidane in 2022 but an eighth season in the Spanish capital is perhaps the most likely scenario despite being on the fringes of the first-team squad.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.