Gareth Bale has signed a new contract with Real Madrid, ending talk of a potential return to the English Premier League with Manchester United.
The Welshman had been linked with a return to England earlier this season, with reports suggesting he had fallen out with manager Zinedine Zidane and that Manchester United had initiated talks with the former Tottenham Hotspur superstar. However, Bale has now put an end to any speculation by signing a deal with Los Blancos until 2022.
A statement on Real Madrid’s official website read:
‘Real Madrid C. F. and Gareth Bale have agreed an extension to the player’s contract, keeping him at the club until the 30th of June 2022.
‘Tomorrow, Monday at 1:30pm, Gareth Bale will appear at a press conference in the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu.’
The 27-year-old joined Real Madrid from Tottenham in 2013 for what was then a world record fee of £85.3 million, signing a 6-year contract that was due to expire in 2019. The new deal will see him stay at the club until he is 35 should he see it out, effectively meaning he could retire at the club.
Bale has fully adapted to life in Spain — something a lot British players failed to do — and has the enviable record of 62 goals in 135 games for Los Blancos. It is understood that Bale’s new deal will net him over £250,000 per week after tax, with the Wales international surpassing club captain Sergio Ramos as the club’s second-highest earner.
Bale joins the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and winger Lucas Vazquez in extending their contracts at the Santiago Bernabeu this season. The Welshman’s deal had been one of the club’s priorities, with Real Madrid chiefs keen to tie down one of the marquee names who played a key role in two Champions League victories in three years at the club.
In addition, Real Madrid are facing a transfer ban until 2018. As such, they have been trying to tie down their key players to new deals to avoid any departures and to ensure that the core of the team remains in place to challenge the best sides in Spain and Europe for all the top honours.