Atletico Madrid are reportedly ready to go all out to try and sign Wales captain Gareth Bale from local rivals Real Madrid in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication El Gol Digital, out-of-favour Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale is the subject of strong transfer interest from arch-rivals and reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window.
Bale signed for Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 from Tottenham Hotspur in a club-record transfer. The Welsh wing-wizard wrote himself into the club folklore immediately upon his arrival, as he played an integral role in helping the club achieve the La Decima in his debut season.
While he continued to play an important role in the success that the Merengues achieved over the past decade, Bale was never quite able to win over Real Madrid fans. In addition to injury issues, his relationship with former manager Zinedine Zidane seemed to have broken down completely, especially during the Frenchman’s second reign as manager of the club.
Having been overlooked by the manager time and again, Bale decided to return to Tottenham last summer on a season-long loan deal. While he suffered due to injuries in the early parts, the 31-year-old did manage to end the campaign on a high, finishing with 16 goals in all competitions, in turn helping the Lilywhites clinch safe passage through to the UEFA Europa Conference League for the next season.
Soon returning to Real Madrid, Bale is unwanted at the Spanish capital club despite the return of Carlo Ancelotti as the manager. And, given his situation, Los Blancos’ neighbours, Atletico Madrid, are keen on capitalising by launching a strong push to secure his transfer this summer.
The report claims that Atleti manager Diego Simeone is looking for a player of Bale’s profile who can play behind the striker or out on the wings and score and create goals. Despite his exile at Real Madrid, Bale showed at Tottenham and now with the Wales national team at the UEFA Euro 2020 that if he is given a continuous run in the side, he still has the quality to be the difference-maker for his team.
With Joao Felix seemingly attracting interest from Manchester City as a potential alternative for Harry Kane, Bale could be seen as a replacement, albeit a short-term one, for the Portuguese international at Atletico Madrid. However, the 31-year-old would need to take a major pay cut on his current €17 million per season wages at Real Madrid if he is to move to the Wanda Metropolitano.
It certainly will be interesting to see if Real Madrid are willing to let Bale make the jump to their direct rivals or whether the Welsh captain is given another chance to make a splash at the Santiago Bernabeu next season.