He may have scored two stunning goals in the Champions League final for Real Madrid, but Gareth Bale faces an uncertain summer.
The Welshman was largely reduced to a bit part role in Real’s successful European campaign. Boss Zinedine Zidane preferred Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema up front.
Isco, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio ousted Bale for a midfield spot too.
Speaking after the Champions League final, the winger admitted he would start looking elsewhere in search of first-team action.
Zidane’s replacement Julen Lopetegui may have a different role for the former Tottenham Hotspur man in mind. But the general consensus appears to be that if the right offer comes in, Real will sell the Welshman.
So, what might be Bale’s best options?
The Red Devils have been linked with a big-money deal for years now and are regularly touted as Bale’s most likely destination. Our traders make them 2/1 favourites.
The winger turns 29-years-old next month, but United’s signing of the similarly-aged Alexis Sanchez in January suggests they’re happy to seek short-term success, even at big expense.
United have the money and they have the pedigree. It would likely mean Anthony Martial making way, however, so it isn’t totally straight-forward.
According to our odds, a return to Tottenham is second in the betting at 5/1.
The Whites have come a long way since Bale left White Hart Lane in 2013. Mauricio Pochettino has turned them into frequent top-four contenders and occasional title challengers too.
Spurs move into a brand new state-of-the-art stadium this season too, but question marks remain about whether the prudent Daniel Levy would go anywhere near Bale and Real’s asking price.
The rumour mill is really upping the Eden Hazard to Real Madrid transfer lately. If the Belgian goes then a swap for Bale could help move things along.
Chelsea might be happy to simply cash in on their Belgian superstar, but don’t be surprised if Bale goes in the opposite direction. The Blues are 6/1 to be the Welshman’s next club.
The German giants have been untouchable domestically, but they’ve lacked European success to go with it.
Signing Bale makes sense for both player and club. And if the rumours of Robert Lewandowski leaving gather pace, Bayern would be eager to sign a top-line replacement as soon as possible. The move is currently 10/1 to go ahead.
Staying at Real
Bale is under contract at the Bernabeu until 2022. So he won’t come cheap. Throw in his hefty salary and there are few clubs who can realistically afford to make a move for him.
Factor in his suspect injury record too, and few sides are willing to take on that risk.
Equally, it’s too early for Bale to consider a move to China, the UAE or MLS. So he may be stuck in the Spanish capital for a while yet.
New Madrid boss Lopetegui does speak English, so that may help Bale’s chances. But as former manager of Spain, he’ll likely favour Isco, Asensio and the rest.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication