Gareth Bale is staying at Real Madrid for now after his big move to China fell through at the eleventh hour.
The left-sided attacker is one of the most recognisable footballers in the world and has been at the Bernabéu since 2013, joining for a fee India Today reported to be in the region of £89.77m (₹7.7bn). He’s impressed during his time with Madrid, winning four Champions League titles as well as a single La Liga triumph.
His time appeared to be coming to an end this summer during a rather acrimonious transfer saga. A ‘Transfer Window Woes’ feature by Ladbrokes reports how Bale was lined up to move to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning. According to the Guardian, the move was going to net him wages close to £1m per week (₹86m).
The move failed to materialise. The Real president, Florentino Pérez, had initially sanctioned a free transfer for the former Tottenham Hotspur player, but changed his mind at the last minute. He decided they wanted to see a return on the fee they paid for him, pricing the Chinese side out of a transfer.
They had been prepared to stump up the eye-watering wages for Bale but couldn’t stretch to a transfer fee as well. That’s left Bale in limbo, especially with the signing of Eden Hazard. He’s joined Madrid from Chelsea and plays in a similar role to the 30-year-old
There are other options available to Bale, who is thought to want to see out his current contract, which ends in the summer of 2022. News 18 suggest that he could be offered to Paris St Germain as a makeweight in a deal for Neymar, although that’s unlikely as the Brazilian also plays on the left hand side of attack and would be a luxury Madrid could not afford.
It’s also thought that German side Bayern Munich could be looking to add him to their ranks. They’ve struggled to assert themselves in the Champions League in recent seasons and a player of Bale’s ability would be the perfect fit for them.
They’re looking to replace the Dutch dynamo Arjen Robben who retired at the end of last season and might turn to Bale after missing out on Manchester City’s Leroy Sane.
There is a possibility he might not move at all. An article by The Times of India quoted Zidane as saying he’s now going to rely on Bale after an injury to Hazard in pre-season. It does make sense to include the Welshman in the first team picture, especially when they’re still paying £600,000 (₹52m) per week for his services.
Whatever does happen with Gareth Bale, it seems he’s set to remain at Real Madrid at least until January. Usually, when Los Merengues decide to sell a player, it does happen sooner or later. However, if Bale is set on remaining at the club, his huge wages are going to make him difficult to offload.
With 102 goals in 232 appearances for Madrid, he is a nice problem to have as they hunt La Liga success this season for only the second time in seven seasons.